Annual memorial jazz concert on Monday


IRON MOUNTAIN – The 15th annual Ron Caviani Memorial Jazz Concert will take place at 7 p.m. Monday in the Iron Mountain High School auditorium.

The concert will feature high school jazz bands from Iron Mountain and Kingsford, as well as the all conference jazz band, directed this year by retired director of bands for the Norway-Vulcan Area Schools, Greg Hunt. The concert is hosted by Craig Recla, Iron Mountain Schools director of bands.

Caviani was an outstanding musician and educator who spent many years performing and teaching in the community. He volunteered his time to work with the high school bands in the area. The jazz bands would not be where they are today without his assistance, Recla said.

Caviani was a native son of Iron Mountain and a figure in jazz education as well as a gift composer.

After teaching at Northern Michigan University and the University of the Pacific in California, he retired in the mid-1990s to Iron Mountain. He then began visiting the area schools to share his knowledge of jazz to programs in Iron Mountain, Kingsford and Norway.

The first concert was in November 2003 at IMHS and ended with Caviani playing a medley of jazz favorites — his last time at the piano. He died just two months later, in January 2004.

Since that first concert, 14 scholarships have been awarded to jazz musicians from the three schools whose jazz programs that actively worked with Caviani.

“This year’s program will seek to raise funds to not only fund the 2019 Caviani Scholarship but also to grow the scholarship fund so we can increase the award in the future as college expenses climb,” organizers noted.

A free will offering will be taken to fund the scholarships at the concert.

Proceeds will go towards the Ron Caviani Memorial Scholarship fund, which provides a college scholarship to a local jazz musician each year.

Donation checks can be made to the Dickinson Area Community Foundation-Caviani Fund.