Johnny Knorr Orchestra concert June 5Written by Jason Mack | | firstname.lastname@example.org
The Johnny Knorr Orchestra is playing a free concert to celebrate founder Johnny Knorr’s 90th birthday as it opens its 51st season. The concert will be held June 5 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at Christ Presbyterian Church.
Johnny’s son Jerry Knorr took over as director at the start of the year. He is the only original member of the band remaining, although the average tenure for a band member is more than 20 years.
“I’m quite excited about this concert,” Jerry said. “It’s the appropriate thing to do. Fifty years of the orchestra is an accomplishment. Living to be 90 is an accomplishment. He’s tied the two together. He’s spent his entire career in music.”
Johnny started the band in 1960, led by his tenor saxophone. Johnny Desmond, a vocalist with the Glenn Miller Orchestra, once told Knorr, “You play tenor sax the way I like to hear it.” Johnny adapted the compliment into the band’s trademark: “The music you like, the way you like to hear it.”
The documentary “Satin Dolls, The Johnny Knorr Story,” by American Retrospects Films debuts June 4 on PBS stations. The DVD of the documentary will be on sale at the concert along with the CD “Just The Way You Like It.” The CD was recorded to celebrate the band’s 50th anniversary, and every song on the album was done in a single take.
“It’s a very exceptional group of musicians,” Jerry said. “Nowadays, you can go into a studio and can work miracles on a soundtrack with computer technology. You can do multiple takes and piece parts from one to another. All of our recordings have been the initial take. The musicians step up to the plate and play the arrangements the way they are supposed to be played.”
The event is free to the public with approximately 200 seats available on a first-come, first-served basis. Christ Presbyterian Church is located at 4225 W. Sylvania Ave.