Upcoming Benefit for the Philip B. Garonzik Music Scholarship Fund Promises Wonderful Music For All

Poster for the Philip B. Garonzik Music Scholarship Fund

What a Wonderful World: A Benefit Concert for the Philip B. Garonzik Music Scholarship Fund will take place at the at the Sapphire Room in the Riverside Hotel on Wednesday, February 7 at 7pm. The show will feature keyboardist/vocalist/songwriter Steve Eaton, along with special guests. Among the performers is Katie G., who is putting on the event for the second year now. Katie explained about the Scholarship Program, administered by the Idaho Jazz Education Endowment, saying, “The Philip B. Garonznik Music Scholarship Fund is geared towards junior and senior high. Jazz is an American art form. It’s something that the school music programs—-the school music programs are really into choir, but not so much band and orchestra. The scholarship that we have is specifically for private instruction, so it’s for help outside of school”.

Her mother, Heather, added “My husband, Phil Garonzik, was a jazzer, so we couldn’t do any other musical form than jazz. To honor him, it has to be a jazz scholarship. There’s no doubt about that. Phil was a member of the One O’Clock Jazz Lab Band at the North Texas State University. He was a jazzer at heart. He would play—he loved to experiment in many kinds of different musical forms so, while he was trained in jazz and loved jazz, he wasn’t afraid to play other genres of music. We couldn’t do anything to honor him but make it a jazz scholarship”. The scholarship is a fitting tribute to Philip Garonzik, who passed away in 2016 of a rare form of lymphoma. Phil was known both as a virtuoso saxophone player, performing over the years with many major artists; and also for his love of teaching woodwinds and jazz to private students as well as serving as interim director of the BSU Jazz Band in 1985.

Headlining the show is Steve Eaton, noted songwriter and musician. Katie said about Steve, “Steve is from Pocatello; he’s a singer/songwriter. He wrote a few songs that made him pretty famous; as a songwriter he wrote a song for Art Garfunkel called Rag Doll; and he wrote a song for the Carpenters called All You Get From Love is a Love Song”. All You Get From Love is a Love Song was a massive hit for the Carpenters and, along with songs written for Lee Greenwood, Glen Campbell and others, still provides Steve with well-deserved royalties. He’s also composed music for groups and shows as varied as the CBS After School Specials, the World Center for Birds of Prey, the National endowment for the Arts and the National Wildlife Federation. Steve even did a stint playing lead guitar for 60s rock group Paul Revere and the Raiders. These days, the piano is his instrument of choice and he can often be found performing around the Boise area.

Katie explained about Steve’s relationship with her father, “Steve and my Dad first met when my Dad came here. He came to Pocatello to play in a band called Fat Chance. Fat Chance was signed to the RCA label. They opened for Yes at the Whisky a Go Go in Los Angeles back in the 70s. That’s how my Dad met him—Steve was my Dad’s best friend. Steve actually moved back to Boise about 15 years ago from Pocatello and that’s when he and my Dad connected again. They started playing a lot of gigs, they played at Chandler’s, a lot of patio gigs, the Idaho Botanical Gardens; Steve was really good at promoting his music and he always had my Dad play with him. Steve actually called my Dad his ‘secret weapon’. He was kind of the cherry on top for all of his songs. My Dad also recorded some albums with Steve, he was on Steve Eaton’s Christmas album”.

Opening the show is a group of young musicians from the Idaho Arts Charter School. Global Beats is a 12-piece band of eclectic musicians (all high-school students) under the direction of educator/drummer/percussionist David Gluck. The group features a wide variety of instruments such as strings, horns, percussion, piano, even a ukulele and a glockenspiel. All of Global Beats‘ pieces are written specifically for the band and their instrumentation by David Gluck.

Of course, the concert would not be complete without a performance by Katie G., otherwise known as Phil Garonznik’s daughter. Katie said, I’ll be playing with Camden Hughes, Clay Moore and Bob Toole”. Katie was influenced heavily by her father and said, “I’ve always been musical, I’ve always been a vocalist, since I was old enough to be able to sing. When I was growing up, my parents didn’t play a lot of classic rock, I heard a lot of jazz, I heard classical—that’s the stuff I grew up around—-so it was normal to listen to Ella Fitzgerald and Mel Torme and to watch Fred Astaire movies. That’s the kind of music I grew up around! I always admired my Dad and I was spoiled by having him as my father because I was always exposed to great music.

I didn’t go to school for music and I wish that I had. I didn’t do anything musically for ten or twelve years after high school. Then my Dad passed away two years ago and it just felt like the right thing to do; it was a way for me to deal with my grief and a way for me to move on in a positive way. I had a lot of help from people in the community that were friends with my Dad—Carol Raye, who is with us now, she was the vocalist in my dad’s Brazilian group called Tropicalia. Chuck Smith, who was the keyboard player in that group, helps me a lot. Chuck helped me learn how to be a performer and how to get charts together, how to talk to a band and tell them what you want, what kind of sound you want and what kind of style.

All of the other guys I’m playing with at the show played with my Dad. Camden Hughes was friends with my Dad and he’s pretty young; he’s about my age; he played with my dad and considered him one of his mentors. All these guys have stepped up in a really—they’ve been so open with me and really helped me a lot. I’m really grateful for all of that”.

The event, What a Wonderful World: A Benefit Concert for the Philip B. Garonzik Music Scholarship Fund, is taking place in one of the best performing venues in Boise, the Sapphire Room in the Riverside Hotel. Katie noted, “I’d also like to add about the Riverside Hotel and Linda Johnson. She’s the owner of the hotel and has offered the space, the Sapphire Room, every winter, after January and Christmas, to do this fundraiser for free. They’ve been working with us a lot and they’re really great”.

While there are many scholarships for young athletes, there is not a lot of scholarships to help the young musician who wants to school himself with an ear towards becoming a jazz musician or music educator. This event is a great way to hear some excellent music and help some young, talented, deserving junior and senior high school jazz musicians to better their education.

What a Wonderful World: A Benefit Concert for the Philip B. Garonzik Music Scholarship Fund

The Sapphire Room at the Riverside Hotel

Wednesday, February 7, 2018 at 7pm—doors open at 6pm

2900 W. Chinden Blvd.

Boise, ID 83714

Tickets $15 general, $20 preferred ($20/25 at the door)

Information and tickets website

This entry was posted in Boise Life, Interview, Live Music, Music. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *