NORWICH — This month the Chenango Arts Council is set to host another unique performance: Mark Sands’ Realtime Dixieland Band on Saturday, Feb. 10, at the Martin Kappel Theater in Norwich beginning at 7 p.m.
To the layperson the event might serve as just another show at the historic former high school auditorium, but for those grounded within the local music scene of past, it's anything but.
The special performance pays homage to longtime music educator and big band enthusiast Bob Arnell by retired music educator Mark Sands, who—like the late Arnell—has dedicated his life to the proliferation of the arts, specifically unique improvisational and traditional contemporary music.
Dixieland, sometimes referred to as hot jazz or traditional jazz, is a style based on the music that developed in New Orleans at the start of the 20th century. The four main influences were ragtime, military brass bands, the blues, and gospel music, and Sands found his ear for it early on.