Cornet Chop Suey to perform concert at The Apple Shed in Clarksville on Saturday

Chop suey

Pictured are the members of Cornet Chop Suey. From left are Rick Zelle, Jay Hungerford, Dick Maley, Jerry Epperson, Brett Stamps and Brian Casserly. | Photo courtesy of The Apple Shed

CLARKSVILLE, Mo. — The St. Louis-based jazz band Cornet Chop Suey returns to The Apple Shed on Highway 79 in Clarksville for a concert at 8 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 23.

The world-traveling group has made a point of playing the Raintree Arts Council venue for years. A mix of acoustics and crowd response keeps the accomplished performers coming back.

In a press release, saxophonist Jerry Epperson said, “We always feel like we return home when we’re with our friends at The Apple Shed. We can ‘swing for the fences’ musically and throw out surprises now and then.”

The other members are familiar faces, and all have extensive musical resumes. There’s trumpeter and vocalist Brian Casserly. Rick Zelle handles the piano, with Brett Stamps on trombone. Jay Hungerford plays bass and Dick Maley will be featured on drums.

The audience can count on hearing jazz standards, but Cornet likes to mix things up with original tunes and the band’s take on songs from other genres. Showtunes and movie themes also will be part of the set. The band loves interacting with concertgoers.

“Jazz has survived because of the freedom of rhythmic and harmonic spontaneity that makes every performance new and unique,” Epperson said. “The performance freedom of jazz has become an integral element in popular, rock, blues and country music, as well.”

Cornet has been together for more than 25 years. It is named after a hit song by American jazz legend Louis Armstrong. Epperson makes his home in Clarksville and has been playing instruments for more than 60 years. It’s a love that transcends age.

“Jazz musicians continue to play because every performance is a new adventure,” he said.

Tickets for the Clarksville show are $20 for adults and will be available at the door. People ages 18 and younger are admitted free.

Limited premium seating is available for $25 per person, a table of eight for $200 or a table of 10 at $250. Tables must be reserved and paid for in advance. E-mail administrator@raintreeartscouncil.org for information.

A cash bar and snacks will be available. Doors open at 6 p.m., with Tricia Luke and Hanna Blackmore performing at 7 p.m.

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