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Geneva Celebrates Scott LaFaro

A model of the statue of Scott LaFaro proposed for downtown Geneva

On Saturday, April 7th, Geneva hosts its annual celebration of the life of Scott LaFaro. The celebrated jazz bass player grew up in Geneva and over the years a downtown street has been named in his honor and a group is working to bring a statue of LaFaro to a downtown street corner. The model of that statue will be on display at the Smith Opera House Saturday night, which is the site of the annual celebration concert. The headliners are bassist Marc Johnson and grammy award winning pianist Eliane Elias. Concert organizer Kelby Russell is delighted to bring music with a direct connection to LaFaro’s legacy for the celebration.

  “Marc is originally known for playing with the Bill Evans Trio, the last famous Bill Evans trio in the late 70s and early 80s, where he was always, not a disciple, but a big fan of Scott LeFaro, loved Scott LaFaro and really idolized him, and Bill thought that Marc was the closest that anyone had come to being Scott LaFaro in his group since that point. So, for us it's a nice circling back to the beginning of what this concert is about.”

A third star on stage Saturday night will be Scott LaFaro’s bass, which survived the car crash that took LaFaro’s life. It’s been restored and is provided to the musician to use for the concert. The 5th Annual Scott LaFaro Celebration Concert happens Saturday, April 7th at 8:00 p.m. at The Smith Opera House in downtown Geneva. Tickets and VIP tickets with a meet and greet reception with the artists are available at

Kelly Walker started his public radio career at WBAA in West Lafayette, Indiana in 1985 and has spent some time in just about every role public broadcasting has to offer. He has spent substantive time in programming and development at KWMU in St. Louis, WFIU in Bloomington, Indiana, and Troy Public Radio in Alabama before his arrival in Geneva, New York. In addition, his work has been heard on many other public radio stations as well as NPR. Kelly also produces The Sundilla Radio Hour, which airs Sundays at 1 p.m. on Finger Lakes Public Radio and is distributed to public radio stations all over the country through PRX.
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