Bobby Baird honored among glitz and glamour

First Posted: 9/15/2014

The decor of the Huntsville Golf Club in Dallas resembled that of the sophistication of a New York City jazz club – fitting for the presentation of the 2014 Big Apple Jazz “A Tribute to Bobby Baird” sponsored by the Back Mountain Chamber.

The evening featured Vince Giordano & the Nighthawks, who traveled from New York City to be part of the festivities, as well as a performance by Bobby Baird. Held under a tent, the event was complete with food such as pastrami, corned beef, and Italian subs, New York style soft pretzels, gyros, mini Reuben sandwiches, New York cheesecakes, cannoli, among other New York style deli and street cuisine offerings and an array of beverages served throughout the evening.

A Trucksville native, Baird became the youngest trumpet soloist ever to play for a United States presidential inauguration, earning that distinction as a U.S. Navy Band trumpet soloist who performed at President Harry Truman’s 1949 inauguration.

Baird started his own band, the Bobby Baird Dixieland Jazz Band, in 1952. He worked with Skitch Henderson, Doc Severson and Ed Sullivan and was awarded the Pennsylvania Jazz Society’s Musician Jazzer of the Year award. Later, he performed for both President Ronald Regan and President Bill Clinton.

The Back to Jazz event was the second that the chamber has organized. Cindy Post Mitchell, chairperson of the Back to Jazz Committee of the Chamber, said that last year’s theme was New Orleans jazz.

Chamber vice-president Jim Reino, who will become the organization’s president next year, said the chamber donated $600 to the Lake-Lehman Jazz Band and $600 to the Dallas High School Jazz Band, proceeds from last year’s Back to Jazz event.

The chamber’s mission is “to combine the Back Mountain attributes of commerce, communit, and culture. The chamber will facilitate the establishment of new businesses and the enhancement of existing ones within the context of a supportive community.”

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