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The Flagpole Radio Café

   is a lively variety show presented by Flagpole Productions™
in association with the Newtown Cultural Arts Commission

Flagpole Radio Café  Press Release


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November 16, 2010

NEWTOWN RESIDENT ROGER BALL

TO PERFORM WITH THE ROGER BALL QUINTET

ON DECEMBER 4 AT

THE FLAGPOLE RADIO CAFÉ

Newtown, CT - the Newtown Cultural Arts Commission is pleased to announce that the Roger Ball Quintet will be the guest artist for the December 4th edition of The Flagpole Radio Café.  Roger Ball is a resident of Newtown who may be remembered as a founding member of the acclaimed jazz funk ensemble the Average White Band.  Tickets are now on sale at www.flagpoleproductions.org .  The show begins at 7pm at the Edmond Town Hall in Newtown, CT.  Ticket prices are $18 for adults, $15 for students and senior citizens.  If further information is needed, please contact us at info@flagpoleproductions.org .

Executive Producer Martin Blanco remarked, “I remember listening to the Average White Band in my youth.  Not only were they an integral part of the popular music landscape of the time, but their music helped introduce jazz to a generation of listeners.  Roger Ball is a great saxophone player and yet another accomplished artist who resides in Newtown. We are excited to have his ensemble perform in our show and help us celebrate the holiday season.”   

Roger Ball has been playing jazz and funk to international audiences for over thirty years.  In addition to playing the saxophone, Mr. Ball is a keyboardist, composer and arranger.  The Roger Ball Quintet comprises his excellent alto sax, John Fumasoli on trombone, Nick Bariluk on piano, Henry Lugo on bass, and Thierry Arpino on drums, performing an exciting mix of jazz in a funk vein, jazz standards and original songs.

While studying architecture at the Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art in Dundee, he met Malcolm “Molly” Duncan and Alan Gorrie. The three of them relocated to London and later joined forces in 1971 with Onnie McIntyre, Hamish Stuart and Robbie McIntosh to form the highly acclaimed and much beloved Average White Band.

             These six Scots were an unlikely group to be successful playing American-styled funk, but went on to be nominated for three Grammy Awards in the Rhythm & Blues category.  Mr. Ball was the principal composer of "Pick up the Pieces" which topped the US Billboard charts in February of 1975, as did "Cut the Cake" that same year.  "Pick up the Pieces" has since been covered by many musicians and used in television programs, films and commercials.  He went on to co-write a total of forty-three songs for the Average White Band, many of which have been sampled and used by musicians including the Beastie Boys, TLC, Too Short, Ice Cube and Arrested Development.  This past summer, he and "Molly" Duncan, also known as The Dundee Horns, reunited for a performance in his home country of Scotland.

            Before forming Average White Band, Mr. Ball was a session musician in London, arranging and playing for Badfinger, Kiki Dee and Elton John, Mama Cass, Bryan Ferry, Roxy Music and many others. He has performed on stage with Chaka Khan and Marvin Gaye. As an arranger with Average White Band, he wrote and played with the incomparable Brecker Brothers, Michael and Randy Brecker.

            Roger Ball’s roots in jazz extend back to his teenage years, playing in traditional jazz bands.  In 1995 he released his first solo album, Street Struttin' and, in 2005, his second CD, Childsplay.   This past summer, he and "Molly" Duncan, also known as The Dundee Horns, reunited for a performance in his home country of Scotland.  He lives here in Newtown with his wife and son.

For those not acquainted with The Flagpole Radio Café, it is an engaging variety show created by Jim Allyn, Martin Blanco and Barbara Gaines in conjunction with the Newtown Cultural Arts Commission. It features music by Jim Allyn and the Flagpole Radio Café Orchestra, a dynamic ensemble created for the show, and radio style comedy sketches by the hyperbolically named Flagpole Shakespeare Repertory Theatre. The Flagpole Radio Cafe is hosted by musician and radio personality Chris Teskey, who also broadcasts the show on his celebrated program on WPKN radio. Each show features a musical guest artist such as Peter Yarrow, Vanesse Thomas, Phil Bowler and Yale’s internationally acclaimed male choir The Whiffenpoofs.