Who is Clay “The Cooker” Collins?
Clay Collins came to Dayton from Chicago in 1968 as a Radio News Reporter for WAVI/WDAO and advanced to Program and Community Relations director. Clay’s infinite knowledge and love of jazz music gave birth to his own weekly program “Jazzsistically Speaking” which aired on WAVI/WDAO from 1969-73, on WING from 1975-83. His jazz radio career continued at WCSU up to 1994 and at Clear Channel’s Smooth Jazz 106.9 until they decided to go Country in 2009 and he opted to leave them behind. Shortly after and because of Clear Channel’s decision, WDPS 89.5-FM went to an “all jazz, all the time” format. On October 1st, 2009 “The Cooker” hit the airways from 9:45 AM to 12noon, and so “Jazzsistically Speaking” continues to this day.
On November 24, 2007 Clay was inducted into the Dayton Broadcast Hall of Fame and on September 28th Clay will celebrate forty-five years of being on Dayton radio and the station has decided to celebrate his milestone on that date by offering their 3rd Annual Listener Appreciation Concert. WDPS (Dayton Public Schools) radio is located at 741 Washington Street in the David H. Ponitz Career Center.
In addition this free event will be a continuation of Jazz Advocate’s annual Community Jazz Festivals and will be offering four acts on stage:
The John Slate Trio (4:00 – 4:45 pm)
The Special Guest Band (5:00 – 5:45 pm)
The Jazz Central Band (6:00 – 6:45 pm)
Dean Simms’ tribute to Louie Armstrong (two sets, 7:00 – 7:45 & 8:00 – 8:45 pm)
In addition we will have drink and food vendors, a student bake sale, a dancing area, sponsor tables and of course a number of give-away prizes.
The above four groups are all great and have the elements to make this a very fun and entertaining mini jazz festival. The finale tribute to Louie Armstrong, I’ve had the good fortune to have seen twice and in my humble opinion is the best live jazz performance ever. When Dean Simms takes the stage, the audience is immediately captivated, as they are taken on an epic journey of Louis Armstrong’s “bigger than life” stellar career. Their rendition of “Basin Street Blues”, show stopping Conga-line performance of the “Saints Go Marching In”, up tempo version of a “Wonderful World”, “St Louis Blues”, and ending their 90 minute show with a standing encore performance of “Hello Dolly”, that leaves you totally mesmerized! This man looks like Louie Armstrong, he sounds like Louie Armstrong and when he plays the trumpet that caps it off – he is Louie Armstrong. You end up feeling like you’ve experienced a live performance of America’s greatest ambassador of jazz.
WDPS (89.5 FM) has filled a void in the local market as “Dayton’s home for jazz” since moving to its new studios in the Ponitz Career Technology Center in 2009, and has earned a loyal following. Students in the Ponitz CTC arts and communication career pathway have disc jockey duties and serve as on-air personalities alongside familiar on-air voices, like Clay “The Cooker” Collins who have brought area listeners the best in jazz over the years. Clay says “I want to see your face in the place!” (More details at: http://www.jazzcentraldayton.com/#05)
Here are some (not all) of the upcoming jazz events for the next couple of weeks:
Today Wednesday, September 25 – The Faux Frenchmen are at the La Poste Eatery in Cincinnati and Ricky Nye is at Chez Nora in Covington, KY.
Thursday September 26 – There is a Jam Session hosted by Chay Buddah & Hott2def at Bankshots Sports Bar & Grill in Trotwood, OH.
Friday September 27 – The Scott Belck Quartet is at Washington Platform Saloon & Restaurant in Cincinnati and the Brent Gallaher Trio is at Radisson’s 360 In Covington, KY.
Saturday September 28 – The WDPS-FM 3rd annual Listener Appreciation Concert will be held at David H. Ponitz Career Center 741 Washington Street in Dayton.
Sunday September 29 – The Swingtime Big Band is at Legends and Bluesbent is at the Blue Wisp Jazz Club both in Cincinnati.
September 30 – The John Taylor Trio is at Brio Tuscan Grille in Beavercreek and Vaughn Wiester’s Famous Jazz Orchestra is at the Clintonville Woman’s Club in Columbus.
Tuesday October 1 – Dave Greer’s Classic Jazz Stompers is at Jimmies Ladder 11 in Dayton and Derek DiCenzo Trio is at Local Roots in Powell, OH.
Wednesday October 2 – Swing Dance with Lizz & Rex Review at the Dayton Event Connection and Rich Lopez is at Rigsby’s in Columbus.
Thursday October 3 – The Jazz Central Big Band returns to Jazz Central with special guest Ken McCoy and there is a new Jam Session w/Eddie Brookshire at Gilly’s both in Dayton.
Friday October 4 – The Shaw Stanley Trio plays at Carvers Steaks & Chops in Centerville and JC & The Rowdy’s Blues Jam is at Jazz Central in Dayton.
Saturday October 5 – The NEW Ed Moss Trio w/special guests is at the Schwartz Point Jazz Club in Cincinnati and the Wade Baker Jazz Collaboration is at the Chatterbox Jazz Club in Indianapolis, IN.
Sunday October 6 – Jazz Central will feature special guest artist Bob “Big Cutty” Bass on the Hammond B3 Organ to take part in their regular Sunday Night Jam
Monday October 7 – Mark Flugge, Derek Dicenzo & Jimmy Castoe is at Due Amici in Columbus.
Tuesday October 8 – Tony Monaco is at the Rumba Café in Columbus and the Part St. Tavern Jazz Jam continues, both in Columbus.
More info and jazz listings can be found at JazzAdvocate.com