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‘A-Tisket, A-Tasket’

Singer Cookie Coogan channels Ella Fitzgerald today at Beard Park

The Salt City Jazz Collective is among the artists to perform at Beard Park on Thursday, July 17. The jazz concert is sponsored by the village of Fayetteville and will benefit the Fayetteville Free Library.

The Salt City Jazz Collective is among the artists to perform at Beard Park on Thursday, July 17. The jazz concert is sponsored by the village of Fayetteville and will benefit the Fayetteville Free Library. JOHN HERR PHOTO

— Because of her bright scat improvisations and fun-filled approach to music, Ithaca singer Cookie Cookie is often compared to Ella Fitzgerald.

Coogan will swing with Syracuse singer Ronnie Leigh and the 16-piece Salt City Jazz Collective on Thursday evening, July 17, at Fayetteville’s Beard Park. The Stan Colella Parks & Recreation All-Stars will open the free concert at 6:30 p.m.

When you hear Cookie Coogan’s rendition of “A-Tisket, A-Tasket” – Ella Fitzgerald’s popular hit from 1938 – you’ll understand why so many listeners link Cookie and Ella. But the fact is that many different singers and instrumentalists inform Cookie’s approach to her material. As major influences she cites Frank Sinatra, Sarah Vaughan, Carmen McRae, Jack Teagarden and Louis Armstrong and composers Horace Silver, Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn.

Born Lauri Ann Robinson, Cookie grew up in the state of Maine before attending Ithaca College where she studied under jazz guitarist Steve Brown and vocalist Dave Riley.

A few years ago, she released a CD, “First Batch,” featuring tunes such as “Dindi,” “The More I See You,” and “Times Getting’ Tougher than Tough.”

“Cookie is a wonderful, gutsy, soulful jazz and blues singer,” says Ithaca arts administrator Deb Clover.

On Thursday, Coogan will likely sing a duet with Ronnie Leigh, the five-time Syracuse Area Music Award-winner. In 2012 Leigh released his first-ever solo CD – “Ronnie Leigh Live at AppleJazz” – showcasing songs such as “Ain’t Misbehavin,’” “Bye Bye, Blackbird” and “Stompin’ at The Savoy.”

Syracuse’s Salt City Jazz Collective, led by trombonist Joe Colombo, is a big band with solid traditional roots. The Collective boldly delivers the historical compositions of jazz icons including Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Stan Kenton, Buddy Rich, Woody Herman, Glenn Miller, and Tommy Dorsey. The band has also forged its own unique sound by performing original compositions written by band members Joe Riposo and Angelo Candela. The Collective’s only disc is titled “Salt City Live.”

The July 17 concert at Beard Park, sponsored by village of Fayetteville to benefit the Fayetteville Free Library, will go on rain or shine; 637-6374, ext. 328.

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