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Irish Channel Jazz Band brings Big Easy sound to library Sunday

Named after a New Orleans neighborhood settled by emigrants of the Emerald Isle, the Irish Channel Jazz Band revels in the music of the Big Easy.

The Syracuse-based quartet performs a free concert at 2 p.m. Sunday April 17, at Liverpool Public Library, 310 Tulip St. Admission is free; 457-0310; lpl.org.

Led by cornetist Pat Carroll, the Dixieland band includes Dick Sheridan on banjo, Dick Chave on trombone and Woody Peters on tuba. All four musicians hail from Central New York.

A self-taught musician, Carroll achieves exquisite cornet tone on 1920s tunes such as "Tin Roof Blues" and "Running Wild."

Raised in Watertown, he first picked up the horn-specifically, his older brother's trumpet-during World War II.

"When my brother Ed went into the Navy he left his horn behind and I picked it up," Carroll recalls. "I began with bugle calls and eventually went forward from there."

Nowadays, Carroll plays cornet exclusively, never a trumpet. He likes the mellow tone of his old standby, a silver-plated Getzen Eterna.

The bandleader complements his cornet-playing with an easy-going vocal style on songs like "St. James Infirmary" and "Tight Like That."

The quartet excels on tunes associated with New Orleans jazz funerals such as "A Closer Walk with Thee," "I'll Fly Away" and "The Second Line."

Prior to forming the ICJB, Carroll led the Orange Pack Jazz Band which played pre-game pep rallies at Syracuse University, and he also helmed the Hanover Squares. He is a longtime member of the Board of Directors of the Jazz Appreciation Society of Syracuse.

Sunday's performance is the last of four concerts in the library's Fourth Annual Folk Music Series running January through April.

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