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Arts & Culture

Primetime Jazz Plays The Classics

Leon Dachert
Primetime Jazz Orchestra, John Magaldi at center

South Texas Jazz lovers probably know about Primetime Jazz Orchestra led by John Magaldi. He’s one of those band leaders who spreads around the praise to the other members of his band.

"I don’t have ‘leader-itus,’ he quipped during a recent interview with Texas Public Radio.

“ I kick off the tempos and so forth, but the band is made up of some of the best musicians in the country."

Primetime Jazz plays a lot of the big band and jazz orchestra classics, and they’ve been doing it for quite some time.  They play Wednesday nights at The Cove Restaurant on Cypress Street in San Antonio.

"We’ve been together 12 years. We’ve been at the Cove 10 years, our musical home. The acoustics at the Cove have always been really terrific. 

The group also plays at the Blue Star Brewery on the fourth Tuesday of every month. Both of those venues are restaurants and Magaldi admits some patrons are surprised when suddenly a big band starts serenading them at dinner.

"Oh yeah, time and again. It’s amazing. We have a lot of young students that come in there that have never really heard a big band up close for the first time."

After the many years they've played at The Cove, he says they have a regular following of people who show up. Thy come from as far as Austin and Marble Falls to see the group play. Magaldi says he proud to be playing the music made famous by the giants of jazz.

"Definitely. yeah, definitely. I feel personal gratification that I’m a part of the scene that’s continuing things."

And he has fun doing it. On a scale of 1-to-10 he rates playing a jazz gig 10 and a half.