*This story first appeared in The Budget’s April 11, 2018 Local Edition
By Beverly Keller
The unique sound of jazz may not be synonymous with the look and feel of Amish Country, but producer Darren Galambos is working to change that.
Galambos has been working since before Christmas with friends in the industry to partner with businesses and individuals to sponsor jazz concerts in the area. “I think we are spearheading an arts and culture movement,” Galambos shared. “I have a lot of friends in the industry, and I have been working hard to figure out how to bring world-class entertainment to our area.”
The result of that work is a partnership with jazz- lover Duke Bixler, owner of Breitenbach Wine Cellars located between Dover and Sugarcreek, and a growing list of concerts that have been or will be held at the Toolshed. “It is a really nice setup,” Galambos shared. “We have brought in catered food, as well, to offer a nice evening for people.”
Galambos noted that world-renowned artists are excited to play in Tuscarawas County. “This is a unique venue with incredible sound and perfect lighting,” he said. “It offers an intimate setting that you can’t get any- where else. People would have to drive to Pittsburgh or Cleveland to hear this kind of stuff.”
And for the skeptics of jazz, Galambos has a challenge. “Come out and hear them,” he stated. “Just take in a performance, and you’ll love them by the end of the night. It is impossible to hear this kind of music in terms of quality and not enjoy it.”
Galambos is an anesthesiologist but also works for Digital Marketing Group in New Philadelphia. Yet, his passion is music. “I grew up playing classical music,” he said. “My parents would hear me play some ragtime but jazz, jazz came later, much later.”
Currently, thanks to technology that includes lessons on his computer, Galambos is able to take lessons directly from jazz legend Tony Monaco on a weekly basis. “I log in and, with the computer software, I can see what keys he is playing and how and then record that into my lesson and be able to go back to it whenever I need to during the week,” he shared. “It is like having your teacher there with you every time you pick up the lesson.”
Monaco played at the Toolshed last Saturday night, producing music with his Hammon B-3 organ. He has toured and recorded with stars like Pat Martino and Mel Lewis as well as Red Holloway. Dan Wilson and David Throckmotron joined Monaco in the blue light and brought the house down with some burning jams that brought the audience to its feet, clamoring for more.
Wilson headlined a concert in February and is a Grammy-nominated artist. Attendees shared that a show featuring both artists drew them to purchase the tickets and make the drive. In fact, a family from near Akron who attended Saturday night’s event noted how excited they were to take in such amazing talent without breaking the bank or driving for hours.
Enjoying the music in an intimate, up-scale, club-like setting is just what Galambos was aiming for when he started making calls to put the shows together. “It is something for people who live here and visitors alike to take in and enjoy,” he said. “Quality music in a terrific venue with good food and friends is something everyone can enjoy. I really started out with this idea because I wanted to hear great musicians and not have to travel far from home. The more people who come out and join us and hear these musicians, the more events like this we can hold. It is really a win-win situation for everyone.”
All events are recorded and shown on television locally by Digital Media Group. Replays are available on Spectrum Cable 1021 or 1022 depending on the digital box that is used.
Tickets for the shows are $25 per person and can be purchased in advance online at tuscomusic.com or at the door. The next event at the Toolshed is May 12 with Emmet Cohen. Events for the Performing Arts Center are scheduled for June 16 featuring Tony Monaco and July 27 with Theron Brown.