Summer Jazz Festival: The Freenotes

Freenotes Big BandThe Summer Jazz Festival continues with the Freenotes Big Band at 7 p.m. Monday, Sept. 8, in the Grand Ballroom of the Oak Park Arms, 408 S. Oak Park Ave. The public is invited.

The Freenotes is an 18-piece orchestra that plays music from 1940s through the 1960s. The name “Freenotes” originated 30 years ago when the band’s founder, the late Art Mertz, gathered a few musical friends to perform at an outdoor fundraiser. The group didn’t charge – hence The “Free”notes.

The musicians had a great time that day, and the band has been growing ever since. Today’s 18 members range in age from 30 to 70. They perform in blue blazers with red ties.

Twenty year Freenotes’ member Ron Chocola is the band manager, and he takes care of bookings and other business tasks. He plays trumpet in the band.

“We have a repertoire of several hundred songs, all very danceable,” Chocola said. “We play at dances, parties and concerts, such as the one at the Oak Park Arms.”

Oak Park Arms Senior Living is a rental retirement community which provides senior housing in the form of independent living. Furnished apartments are also available for a short-term stay – a weekend, a week, a month or longer.

The concert is free and open to the public. For more information call 708-386-4040.