Muskegon, Michigan, June 20, 2023—The typical jazz drummer is a hip but restrained figure, seated behind a trap set keeping the beat. He and the bass player are the core rhythm section; their job is to remain out of the spotlight, providing a solid but unobtrusive backing for the band, the pianist, or whoever is frontlining.
Tim Froncek—who brings the first of three evenings of jazz to The Block at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 27—never got that memo. The ebullient drummer is a larger-than-life, outgoing, dynamic stage presence—in the tradition of a Buddy Rich or an Ed Shaughnessy—who doesn’t take a back seat to anyone. He is a whole show by himself. At the same time, he is a skilled session player who never calls undue attention to himself. He exudes the joy and pleasure of what he is doing. He lives and breathes jazz, and he is one of the most in-demand drummers around.
Froncek is omnipresent throughout the Midwest as a performer, director of big bands, clinician, jurist and teacher. He knows practically everyone in the national jazz scene as well, and has toured internationally with the Western Jazz Quartet and performed with the likes of Woody Herman, Pearl Bailey, Brother Jack McDuff, Clark Terry and countless other household names. He is an affiliate professor at Grand Valley State University, where he directs the Jazz Orchestra, teaches private students, and lectures on the history of jazz. He also directs the jazz program at Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp. Currently musical director with two of the area’s premier big bands, Froncek can be heard with the Muskegon-based Truth In Jazz Orchestra (TIJO) and the Grand Rapids Jazz Orchestra (GRJO). The West Michigan Jazz Society voted Tim “Jazz Musician of the Year.”
Froncek is teaming up once again with musician friends from around the country to provide a series of three jam sessions at The Block in downtown Muskegon this summer. Events are scheduled for June 27, July 12 and July 26 at 7:30 pm. Single tickets are priced $15, $10 for students with ID. 3-concert packages at $32 offer a 20% discount. To order, call 231.726.3231, visit www.TheBlockWestMichigan.org or in person at The Block, 360 W. Western Avenue, Muskegon. ###