Jazz Impact Auditions Wednesday, September 12, from 5:30-7:30 p.m.
Read letter (PDF)
In April 1969, Bob Delly
gathered a group of eighth graders from several
Lake County schools, Wickliffe Middle, Willoughby
Junior, Mentor Ridge, Mentor Memorial and
his own J. R. Williams in Painesville. With
the cooperation and approval of their directors,
John Sanchez, Ray Rinaldi, Jean Kelly and
Muril Zimmerman a supplemental jazz ensemble
was born. They rehearsed at J. R. Williams.
All the members returned for the next full
year and more joined as the group was now
in full 'swing'. These original members played
together and became Jazz Impact. Highlight
of the early years was the first Lakeland
Festival in 1973. Mr. Charles Frank asked
Bob and the group to play the festival with
known artist Clark Terry. Impact rose to
the occasion and was off and running.
Bob handed the baton to
Len Orcino in the fall of 1974. The band
was now rehearsing at Lake Catholic HS where
Len was director of bands. Already a well
known and powerful group, it was easy to
find places to play. The band played at jazz
festivals. Often these festivals had both
college and HS sections and Impact usually
played as the first band at the college division.
Honors or all-star HS groups were uncommon
and frowned on. The band played school concerts,
mall concerts even Tuesday nights at Joey's
Jazz Club. Again Charles Frank was kind enough
to ask us to play the Lakeland Festival.
This time we played will Bill Watrous and
it was the whole first half of the evening.
Our next big goal was
the famous Notre Dame Jazz Festival. We continued
playing concerts at malls, taking donations,
etc. AND our elusive and now somewhat famous
Live '77. Our fund raiser for the
Notre Dame trip.
Notre Dame: We weren't
allowed to compete because of our status
as an honors or all-star band. We played
during the judging of the HS division of
the festival. We were asked to play for fifteen
minutes. We eventually played for about forty.
Everyone was amazed that we continued to
pullout chart after chart and blew their
socks off. Most bands went with three tunes.
We played at least ten with great solos.
Most impressive. We played our entire album.
We were asked to join
the community of performing groups at Lakeland
the next year, an offer we couldn't refuse.
Thank you Chuck Frank! We finally had a budget
for music. We continued to play the Lakeland
Jazz Festivals up to 1985. We performed at
other Jazz Festivals on a regular basis including
-- Tri-C; Akron Univ; and Ohio State. We
played our school, mall and special concerts
in Lake, Geauga and Cuyahoga Counties. We
were honored to perform at the Ohio Music
Educators Assn. Convention, where we performed
a mini concert and provided a demonstration
band for Ray Wright from the Eastman School
of Music. We made eleven appearances (taped)
on WKYC Sunday Magazine morning TV show with
We fortunately have tapes
of the Lakeland Festivals to document these
fine bands. I'm still amazed after all my
years as a director at how exceptional some
of the playing and soloing is on many of
these tapes. I also am fortunate to have
kept photo albums of our performances and
a picture is worth more than words. If you
could see some of the ones on the bus to
ND. These joys are all precious but only
secondary to making music itself and that's
why we're here. Close encounter of the best