By Tim Leeds
NEW ORLEANS The Ronnie Kole Trio will perform the final concert of the 2000-2001 Havre Community Concert season at the Havre High School auditorium Monday, April 16, starting at 7:30 p.m.
While Community Concerts normally are open only to season memberships, people who buy memberships before the curtain time on April 16 can attend the performance as a bonus to next year's season.
Kole and his wife, Gardner, both said they are looking forward to the Havre show.
"I'm excited about getting up there," Kole said. "It's going to be really fun."
Kole, who plays piano in the trio, said the show will be really diverse, with a little something for everyone. He said the first half will consist of the trio, with Lloyd Cambre on drums and Ed Wise on bass, playing a variety of songs from different styles; a New Orleans medley, Nat King Cole songs, Fats Domino songs, Duke Ellington songs and a tribute to George Gershwin are some of the selections often heard at his performances.
He said for the second half, he goes out into the audience and gets requests, while kidding around with the audience. Kole said he usually gets 30 to 50 requests, which they then play in a Broadway-style performance.
Kole said they start off with one of the songs used as a theme, then go into an overture, playing all of the songs requested in the order he received them. They then go into a finale, he said, where he plays the theme with one hand and plays as many of the others he can fit into the finale with the other.
Kole, who has played at such events as Superbowl XX, a papal Mass, "The Tonight Show" and "The Merv Griffin Show," as well as producing events and hosting or co-hosting Jerry Lewis Muscular Dystrophy Telethons, Easter Seals Telethons since its beginning 19 years ago and other events, said he enjoys doing smaller shows as well.
Whether he's playing for 400 people in Havre, 75,000 at the Superbowl or Rose Bowl, or 180,000 at a papal mass, he said, "each one has it's own unique excitement for it. These are the great people, these are the real people."
Kole said that during the winter and early spring he generally does smaller shows, like Community Concert events. Later in the year he usually tours overseas, he said. Kole said his wife usually tours with him. Last spring he started in Ireland, then went to Germany and France. In August he went to Taipei, Taiwan, returned to New Orleans for a few weeks, then went to Russia. Kole said the material he performs at shows overseas is basically the same as that which they will be performing in Havre.
Kole said he has put out a couple of CDs, "Music of the Vines," with music he has written coming from his "love affair with the people" of the wine producing regions of France, and will probably start writing another. He said he and his wife are big fans of wine and wine culture. He will be featured in an article in the May edition of "Wine Spectator" magazine, and will receive the Chevalier in the Order of Arts and Sciences, the highest honor given to people in the arts from the French government, this year.
If people buy a 2001-2002 Community Concert membership before Monday's concert it will provide access to Kole's performance, but the membership drive will continue past that, if memberships are still available.
The performances for next year's season are the comic pianist Dale Gonyea in September; the Manhattan Rhythm Kings in November, who perform popular music from the 1920s, '30s and '40s, and Alison England's "Opera, Broadway and Beyond" in April 2002.
For more information, contact Ruth Carlson at 265-4223.