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Jazz at Joe's Rolls On...

Published Daily in Bend Oregon by Western Communications, Inc. © 2008

 Jazz at Joe's rolls on ...

 Published: October 25. 2013 4:00AM  

What: Trumpet Madness
When: 7 p.m. Saturday
Where: Greenwood Playhouse, 148 N.W. Minnesota Ave., Bend

On Saturday night, Joe Rohrbacher — owner of Just Joe's Music shop on Bend's south side — will host the 44th installment of the Jazz at Joe's concert series, which he founded in early 2008.

And if you don't already have a ticket, you're out of luck. Like all of the Joe's shows, this one is sold out.

That's no surprise. The venue, Greenwood Playhouse, holds about 130 people. Rohrbacher's mailing list includes more than 600 names, and it's growing all the time.

“It's better than it's ever been. It's funny — every great show is our best advertising for the next show," Rohrbacher said Tuesday. “We've done this really in a grassroots way. We have a nucleus of listeners that have been to most, if not all, of the shows, but we always have new people joining us."

The series began at Just Joe's, where Rohrbacher would set up lights and nearly 50 chairs before the show. In January of 2009, he moved to Greenwood Playhouse to take advantage of its “cool vibe," he said. Over the years, he has hosted some of the best jazz musicians in the Northwest and beyond, including Dave Frishberg, Rebecca Kilgore, Renato Caranto, Chuck Redd, Tony Pacini, Jay Thomas, Kate Davis and more. (Rohrbacher gets lots of requests from musicians to play Jazz at Joe's. “They know it's a good hang," he said.)

All along, he has kept up his commitment to local jazz students. When the series was held at his shop, he hosted a matinee for youngsters and other folks who couldn't make the evening show. These days, he always makes sure students have a ticket if they want to attend.

He does it all with minimal promotion. Rohrbacher occasionally advertises Jazz at Joe's, but mostly he sticks to his email list.

“I don't want to get lost in the shuffle ... but at the same time, my mission is to help students in any way I can," he said. “Anything I spend ... takes away from that."

And yet, the seats are packed every single time.

“I think it's a testament to what we're doing," Rohrbacher said. “We provide quality music that is accessible to most people."

Saturday's show will feature three trumpeters — Dick Titterington, Matt Carr and Paul Mazzio — backed by a crackin' rhythm section. Plus, of course, Rohrbacher's loyal audience.

“It always feels really special," he said. “I don't see it as an audience. It feels like a friendship."

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