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Jazz in Les Fields Hall: Blue Ox Jazz Babies

  • The Castle 121 Broadway Avenue N Rochester, MN 55906 (map)

During our Grand Opening in February 2019, Castle Community and Threshold Arts dedicated the Castle’s third floor event hall to Les Fields - one of Rochester’s most iconic musicians who has been bringing some of the best jazz musicians in Southeast Minnesota together for more than fifty years. Threshold Arts hosts a monthly series, Jazz in Les Fields Hall, featuring Les Fields and the Turkey River All Stars and a visiting guest band.

Doors open: 1:00 PM
Les Fields & the Turkey River All Stars: 1:30 PM
Blue Ox Jazz Babies: 2:40 PM
All Ages – General Admission

Tickets: $5 in advance / $8 day of show
Advance tickets are available online via My Town My Music or at The Art Store on the Castle’s second floor.

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LES FIELDS AND THE TURKEY RIVER ALL STARS

Named after the river that ran through his Cresco, Iowa hometown, Les organized the Turkey River All Stars Band in 1968. The group has had some high-profile gigs over those many years, including performing as the welcoming band for five U.S. Presidents: Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, Jimmy Carter, George Bush, Sr. and George Bush, Jr., and one presidential hopeful, Ross Perot. The Rochester group was the official Minnesota band at the 1984 World's Fair in New Orleans. In 2005, the group was named to the Minnesota Music Hall of Fame. 

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Blue Ox Jazz Babies

The Blue Ox Jazz Babies take their name from one of Minnesota's true legends, Paul Bunyan and his trusty friend, Babe the Blue Ox. Although not legends themselves, the Blue Ox Jazz Babies have become known around Southern Minnesota as true enthusiasts of historical (and sometimes hysterical) music known as Dixieland Jazz. The band does its best to bring Dixieland Jazz from New Orleans all the way up the Mississippi to the Midwest in a way that keeps audiences smiling with a toe-tapping good time.

Ted Schreyer on tuba anchors the band with his upbeat style of tuba playing. Ted has played on "Prairie Home Companion" with Garrison Keilor and can be heard around Minnesota with several jazz bands.

Debbie Schreyer (Teds' sister) grew up playing ragtime and traditional jazz banjo with her banjoist father Lowell, starting with him at the local Shakey’s Pizza Parlor and appearing with him on the Delta Queen and Mississippi Queen steamboats. A full-time career banjoist including a seven-year engagement at the Show Boat Casino in Atlantic City, Debbie is an American Banjo Museum Hall of Fame inductee.

Tom Owens met the Schreyers while piloting a riverboat on the Upper Mississippi where the Schreyers were performing. We don't know if Tom swept Debbie off her feet or if it was the other way around but Debbie and Tom were eventually married. Tom, having previous experience in musical theater in St. Paul, has joined the act singing and playing string bass and washboard.

Jimmy Hayes on trombone is a true tail-gate player. He grew up listening to the sounds of Turk Murphy and fell in love with the style. No one knows for sure if Jimmy can read a note but his instincts for rhythm and harmony licks give the band a truly unique sound.

Barry Clapper on clarinet and soprano sax fills in with harmony parts and also does a nice job of carrying the melody. Barry is well-known throughout the country as a judge of barbershop quartets. This experience with barbershop gives him a wonderful ear for harmony and a flair for entertainment that audiences love.

Tim Robinson on cornet carries the melody that drives the band. Tim's smooth style and raspy vocals make you feel like you're sitting in one of the clubs that Louis Armstrong and King Oliver made famous.

The band loves to make audiences happy throughout the Midwest. They have appeared at various jazz festivals including The Winona Jazz Festival, The Doc Evans Jazz Festival, and The Clear Lake Jazz Festival. They have also appeared at the Minnesota State Fair, several county fairs, parades, riverboats, and a variety of special occasions. Their first CD which is available today is called “Blue Ox Jazz Babies -- Out to Pasture.”

For more information visit blueoxjazz.com

Earlier Event: June 28
Jason Diggz at the Castle
Later Event: July 20
The CRATE Launch Party