Birth of the Capri Big Band
It all started in a telephone conversation between trumpet players
Gene Adams (deceased) and Jeff Keys.
Gene Adams had already organized many successful workshops on the south side of Minneapolis.
This inspired Jeff Keys in his pursuit to organize a jazz workshop on the north side of Minneapolis where he felt he would be most successful in his endeavor to inspire musicians of all ages, races and genders.
Jeff's wife, co-founder Andrea Keys, worked side by side in support of Jeff's vision. She played an intricate part in what is now known as the Capri Big Band and continued to assist Jeff whenever needed.
As Time Passed...
Jeff was invited by saxophonist Dean Brewington to the opening ceremony of the Plymouth Christian Youth Center’s new 2210 building on Broadway Avenue of North Minneapolis. At that time, Jeff noticed that there was a theater next to the school which belonged to PCYC. His idea was to utilize space in the theater for a jazz workshop.
PCYC’s Executive Director, Anne Long and Director of Youth and Family Programs, Karen Goodenough both agreed to allow Jeff to use the space in the Capri Theater for his jazz workshop.
The workshop began to take form which inspired Jeff further. Jeff’s vision progressed from a jazz workshop to a big band. On February 22, 2005, the Capri Big Band, formerly known as the jazz workshop, was created.
Since February 2007, Karl Reichert, Director of the Capri Theater, has continuously utilized the Capri Big Band when organizing community events at the Capri Theater and has been very helpful in networking with other community organizations.
The Capri Big Band performs at the Capri Theater, 2027 West Broadway Avenue, Minneapolis, Minnesota as well as around the community.
The Capri Big Band’s mission is to interject a positive role model in the community by encouraging and improving musical opportunities in the Minneapolis community.
--written by Andrea D. Keys