Doc Severinsen coming to town

Local News

Legendary “Tonight Show” bandleader Doc Severinsen will perform Wednesday, April 17 at 7:30 p.m. at the Greece Performing Arts Center.

As part of the show that night, the Sonic Era Jazz Orchestra will make its debut. Sonic Era founder Karl Stabnau discussed the performance and the excitement surrounding Severinsen’s appearance Monday during News 8 at Noon.

“He’s incredible,” said Stabnau of Severinsen. “His instrument is the trumpet. His personality is colorful too. You can see the attire that he wears. It’ll be a great show!”

Severinsen will be 92 this year. His friend and longtime collaborator Jeff Tyzik will conduct the show. “Doc is particularly excited about this because he is normally an orchestral performer,” noted Stabnau. “He gets in front of orchestras now and has his show. This is very unique because we have him as part of a big band which is going to pull out all of his ‘Tonight Show’ music, things that he’s been excited about doing. And I’ve been getting phone calls back and forth saying, can we do this, can we do that? We’re going to pull out all of the stops for this!”

The Sonic Era Jazz Orchestra is brand new this year. “It’s a community group because all of the members have ties to Rochester or Western New York, but we have people coming in from Buffalo, Syracuse, people who were born in the area who live in New York City, Los Angeles, flying in specially for this show,” Stabnau said. “We’re very, very fortunate to get to partner with Jazz 90.1 who is going to produce the show with us. Simcona Electronics – our presenting sponsor – without businesses like them we wouldn’t be able to do shows of this magnitude. We also have Hyatt Hotels, Hyatt Regency downtown who is going to be the official hotel sponsor of Doc Severinsen. And kind of a special acknowledgment to the CGI Rochester International Jazz Festival. One of the interesting storylines from that is that many of these musicians who grew up in Rochester were part of the festival, played in it with different high school groups, community groups, have gone on study music and the Rochester Jazz Festival has a scholarship fund that has funded a lot of the education for these musicians as they’ve gone on. I was a recipient with a number of the other members, so you can kind of see this come full circle as they return to town.”

Stabnau said there will be an informal jam session – Music Night at the Hyatt – the night before the concert, Tuesday, April 16 at 8:00 p.m. at the Craft Bar & Kitchen. It’s free and open to the public. Everyone is welcome to come in and meet the members of the band and hear some great music.

Get your tickets for Doc Severinsen’s big show with the Sonic Era Jazz Orchestra by calling (585) 281-4893 or go to 


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