Musicians perform at the TKT Jazz Scholarship benefit concert
Webster University’s Department of Music hosted the 20th anniversary of the TKT (Terry Kirk Tony) Jazz Scholarship Benefit Concert at the Browning Mainstage Theatre in the Loretto-Hilton Center on Oct. 24.
Video by Gabe Burns
The event was founded to commemorate the legacies of Terry Jackson, Kirk Cappello and Tony Saputo, three former Webster music students. They were members of Reba McEntire’s road band, and died in a 1991 airplane crash during the For My Broken Heart tour.
Their family and friends wanted to provide assistance to music students showing exceptional professional promise. So far, there have been 35 recipients of the scholarship. Ian Lubar, senior jazz music major, received this year’s 2011-2012 TKT Scholarship.
“These young men were fabulous musicians,” said Paul DeMarinis, director of the jazz program. “They were curious about everything and totally about the music.”
CBS News correspondent Russ Mitchell hosted the event. There were four vocal performances, including the music of Webster jazz faculty. Mitchell said he has known the Jackson family since he was six. When they asked him to host he said he was proud to do it.
“I grew up with Terry and he was an amazing musician,” Mitchell said.
The first performer was jazz vocalist Debby Lennon. She performed jazz classics such as “Why Can’t You Behave?” by Ella Fitzgerald and “Chega de Saudade (No More Blues)” by Antonio Carlos Jobim and Vinícius de Moraes.
“I wanted to do songs that were sassy,” Lennon said. “I have been performing for this event for fours years and I wanted to perform different songs that I never done before.”
Other performers included jazz singer Ralph Butler who performed “Waters of March” by Antonio Carlos Jobim and received a standing ovation for his rendition of Duke Ellington and Bob Russell’s “Don’t Get Around Anymore.”
“I wanted to do fun songs because Terry, Kirk and Tony were fun loving guys and they will always be missed,” Butler said. “Also I loved Latin music and wanted to do something different.”
Lubar performed a Wes Montgomery piece on his guitar.
“I have been performing since I was eight years old,” Lubar said. “I was very pleased that the music faculty chose me for the scholarship.”
The last performer was jazz legend Denise Thimes. She performed for Queen Elizabeth II and, in 2007 she performed at a private dinner gala with former president George W. Bush and former first lady Laura Bush.
Thimes closed the event by singing “Embraceable You” by Billie Holliday and “Tenderly” by Walker Gross and Jack Lawrence.
“This is my second time doing this event and I enjoy performing for these young men’s families,” Thimes said. “I was close to all of them.”
The performers and the three families were pleased that more than 100 people came.