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New Orleans jazz band to perform Saturday night at Clayton Opera House

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CLAYTON — The Thousand Islands Performing Arts Fund at the Clayton Opera House wants to get the north country hooked on the traditional New Orleans jazz sound with an upcoming performance by Fritzel’s New Orleans Jazz Band.

Organizers hope the band’s performance Saturday night will be a precursor to an annual jazz festival on the St. Lawrence River.

Joseph M. Gleason Jr., executive director of TIPAF, said the entire cost of this particular performance — including the production, travel and lodging expenses — was underwritten by a jazz lover who wishes to remain anonymous.

“We think it’s a great idea, especially with the hotel opening up next year, to hold a fall jazz festival up here,” Mr. Gleason said.

Ticket revenues from Saturday night’s performance will benefit the nonprofit TIPAF and allow it to continue hosting premier cultural events in the St. Lawrence riverfront community, Mr. Gleason said.

TIPAF is offering a $5 discount on tickets — which are $25 to $40, depending on the seating area — until Friday.

The band’s performance starts at 7:30 p.m. at the opera house, 405 Riverside Drive.

According to TIPAF, the concert brings “festive and toe-tapping” music from Fritzel’s European Jazz Pub — one of New Orleans’ premiere jazz clubs — to Clayton.

Although TIPAF supporters often make generous donations covering 15 to 20 percent of the cost of a performance, this is the first time an individual stepped forward to sponsor an entire performance at the Clayton Opera House, Mr. Gleason said.

The arts fund is not making public the donation amount, but a single performance can cost anywhere from $10,000 to $20,000, he said.

Ticket sales normally offset the cost of performances but typically do not cover the cost of advertising and staff wages.

Mr. Gleason said 52 percent of TIPAF’s revenue comes from ticket sales, with the rest made up of donations from individual supporters and businesses.

The opera house box office is open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. until Friday and from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday.

Tickets also can be purchased by calling the box office at 686-2200 or online at www.claytonoperahouse.com.

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