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Dixie Diehards in the News


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August 22. 2014 10:48AM  courtesy of the Wicked News – Sharon

Dixie Diehards liven up a cloudy day at Beech Tree Park


By Paula Vogler
A forecast that at times threatened rain could not dampen the spirits of the approximately 50 people that turned out to hear the Dixie Diehards play at Beech Tree Park on Aug. 17.
The concert was part of the Beech Tree Park committee’s annual Concerts in the Park series. Playing on the gazebo stage at the corner of Beach and Pond Streets, the music also attracted passersby who were drawn to the sound.
The 10-man band, including Sharon resident Alan Shapiro on trumpet, is made of musicians who have day jobs or are retired from them and whose foot stomping, hand-clapping music had children and adults alike dancing.
Gabriel Allaria said her family saw an advertisement in the Sharon Advocate for the concert and decided to give it a try. She and her children danced along to familiar songs like When You’re Smiling and Five Foot Two, Eyes of Blue.
“We wanted to come out. We love music,” Allaria said.
Nostalgia is what brought Brian Hollenbeck of Sharon and Sam Evans of Providence, RI to the concert. The group had played at Evan’s wedding four months earlier.
“(Hollenbeck) sent me a clipping from the paper asking if they were the same ones who played at my wedding,” Evans said. “They were perfect to work with. They were incredibly accommodating.”
Hollenbeck said he enjoys listening to the band and likes music in general.
This is the ninth year there have been concerts at the gazebo according to Mim Gopen, co-chair of the Beech Tree Park committee.
Performers can vary from jazz and classical to country and classic rock. Typically nearly 100 people can turn out for a concert depending on the weather, according to Gopen.
“We try to get a variety of entertainment,” Gopen said. “Some are recommended, sometimes people have heard them before, and sometimes we hear through the grapevine.”
The concerts are free and supported by donations and grants.
While volunteers built and maintain the park, Gopen said some donations also go to hiring landscapers if something needs a trim.
“The Beech Tree Park committee is under the recreation committee,” Gopen said. “We do rely heavily on donations.”
While Sunday was supposed to be the last concert, because of a previous rain out next Sunday Aug. 24 will be the final concert of the season.
The Quartet Aremus, a classical string quartet, will play at the gazebo. Due to limited on site parking, a shuttle is provided to bring people from the high school the short distance to the concert.


· Dixie Diehards up next at Beech Tree Park

Dixie Diehards perform at Beech Tree Park in Sharon, MA

Dixie Diehards perform at Beech Tree Park in Sharon, MA

The Dixie Diehards, will be starring this Sunday, Aug. 17, at Beech Tree Park’s “Concerts in the Park.” File photo

·Posted Aug. 13, 2014 @ 9:08 am SHARON

An all-time favorite group, The Dixie Diehards, will be starring this Sunday, Aug. 17, at Beech Tree Park’s “Concerts in the Park.” The band will take to the gazebo stage at the corner of Beach and Pond Streets in Sharon at 3 p.m. and audiences will once again be treated to their upbeat musical renditions.

The Dixie Diehards are led by Sharon trumpet player Alan Shapiro. This group of traditional jazz and Dixieland musicians are devotees of the traditional jazz music of early 20th century New Orleans bands such as the Original Dixieland Jazz Band and Louis Armstrong’s All-Stars as well as Chicago area musicians such as Muggsy Spanier and Jimmy McPartland.

The Dixie Diehards have won an enthusiastic reception across southern New England, not only for their old school jazz style, but for bringing an irrepressible sense of fun and frolic to their shows. That attitude almost always includes audience sing-a-longs, spontaneous dance outbursts and a spirit of “wonderful nonsense” inspired by the early 20th Century which gave them their music.

The band consists of 10 musicians whose “day jobs” are: a reporter, a physician, a psychologist, a DJ, two retired educators, one active and two retired engineers, and a professional chanteuse.

As always, these concerts are free including complimentary refreshments.

People should park at the high school parking lot on Pond Street – a short walk from Beech Tree Park. The Council on Aging van will be running continuously from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. to help shuttle people to and from the park.

Bring a chair or blanket, and be prepared to enjoy great music, free refreshments, and the ambiance of Sharon’s signature garden park.

6/22/2014   Concert in the Park coming August 17th …..


The Dixie Diehards Jazz Band honored native Attleboro son Ray Conniff
at a Memorial Concert – Sunday July 21st. at 2:00 PM.
“Music legend Ray Coniff, who’s career stretched from the  1930’s into the 21 Century, will be featured at an annual Ray Conniff Memorial Concert on July 21st at the Ray Conniff Memorial Bandstand in Capon Park in Attleboro, MA.”  courtesy of the Sun Chronicle
Video of the event is at this link:


The Mashpee Capers Club opened their 6th season with a Dixie Diehards concert.mashpeearticle1article courtesy of the Cape Cod Times.


Local Raynam Call newspaper features the Dixie Diehards performing at their annual summer Concert Series at the Old Stone Church.



Review published on-line by New England Traditional Jazz Plus web covering the band’s performance at The Amazing Thing Performing Art Center in Framingham, MA.  Read the complete review at the link below.

“The Twenties roar back into Attleboro”   – Attleboro Sun Chronicle 
The Roaring Twenties was the era of Prohibition, jazz and some catchy dances, and the decade was back for at least one night in the city Saturday night. Read the full story below.


The following comments are from Ron L’Herault  – New England Jazz Web Site (

MaGlockner’s Restaurant – Bellingham, Ma.  June 21, 2007

“The band played to an almost capacity crowd, due mainly to the move from the usual room to a small room off the bar.  It worked to the band’s advantage and they were able to easily engage the listeners with hand clapping and singing along to some of the songs.

The DDs lead off with “Royal Garden Blues” at a nice medium tempo, allowing the listener to savor the harmonies.  They followed that with The Wabash Blues.  This tune was slow paced and full textured, with great harmonic interplay.  Vocals were handled by Dick Jenkins, one of the three banjo players and by Rick Foster, cornetist and band MC.  He, along with trombonist Jim Kelleher wrote the tune that opened the second set, “Aku Aku“, (pronounced Eh Coo), a romantic medium tempo song which I would like to hear again soon. Although the band reads most of the time, this allows them to use some nice arrangements which added variety to many of the well known tunes they played.  A good example was “Muskrat Ramble“, written by Kid Ory.  It had a nice, ragtime feel to it, harking back to the time before this music was called jazz, when bands such as this were ragging the music. Two more tunes should be singled out for special mention.  One is “Midnight in Moscow” which had a delightful Klezmer flavor to it.  The other tune was “Tuck Me to Sleep In My Old Kentucky Home” (Words by Sam M. Lewis, Joe Young/Music by George W. Meyer, 1921).  It is a great tune with fun lyrics and is based on Stephen Foster’s “My Old Kentucky Home“.  It was quite refreshing to hear a tune that I have not heard done by any of the other local bands.  It’s another one I look forward to hearing again soon.  The band wrapped up this pleasant evening of music and good food at Ma Glockner’s with “Just a Closer Walk with Thee” segued with a rousing version of “The Saints Go Marching In” during which members of the band threaded their way around the tightly spaced tables, much to the delight of their fans and of the patrons in the bar who were keeping a close eye on the proceedings.”