New Orleans Jazz Heats Up Cold Spring

By Andy Revkin

On Saturday afternoon (Feb. 14), Mardi Gras came to Cold Spring in the form of a Valentine’s Day, New Orleans–style jam at the First Presbyterian Church of Philipstown.

Three or four dozen music fans braved the snow and cold to be treated to a menu of hot jazz, with slapped upright bass, thundering tom toms, interwoven horn lines and soulful vocals delivered by a regional legend, Miss Rene Bailey, a resident of Kerhonkson in the Catskills who spent decades singing jazz and blues at resorts there and in New York City, accompanying the likes of Louie Armstrong, B.B. King and Aretha Franklin.

The show was organized by David Limburg, a Nelsonville resident with a passion for trumpet and traditional music, and featured his next-door neighbor Gareth Guest on clarinet.

Also in the horn section was Ken Foy, whose trombone slide seemed to reach across the pews as he powered through “Eh La Bas!” — a creole tune described in Limburg’s liner notes as celebrating “overindulgence in food and drink.”

The ensemble was rounded out by Jake Lentz on piano, Phil Nestor on drums and David “Slam” Winograd on upright bass fiddle, who accompanied his percussive solos with rapid-fire scat lines.

The set ranged from a raucous funeral march (“Just a Little While to Stay Here”) to wistful blues (“Careless Love”) to the gospel standard “We Shall Walk Through the Streets of the City.” As the band closed with “When the Saints Go Marching In,” audience members spontaneously danced down the aisle hand in hand.

Everyone lingered over wine and snacks, reluctant to leave that Big Easy atmosphere for the Hudson Valley chill just outside the church doors.

3 thoughts on “New Orleans Jazz Heats Up Cold Spring

  1. Neighbors, weary and numb from the long, dark, cold, snowy winter, sprang back to life with broad smiles as soon as this band struck up. Tapping feet, swinging bodies, clapping hands transformed the crowd into a different mood entirely… what a treat. Thank you, David, for your love of this kind of music and strong desire to share it with us with such generosity. An afternoon to remember and we look forward to your next event. It’s yet one more thing about Cold Spring and Philipstown that makes it such a special place to live.

  2. Next time you put on the likes of this performance, please make sure it is a warmer time. Sounds like all in attendance really enjoyed all the music. I know that I would be one dancing down the aisle. I’m so happy for you.

  3. Please post a YouTube selection. Sounds like we missed a super event. Perhaps a replay next summer with more notice.