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Batavia Arts Council Swing to feature hot jazz and cocktails

Gaetano's edibles to flavor fundraiser

BATAVIA – The jazz musicians and vocalists behind Russ Phillips & The New Street Rhythm Boys will entertain at a benefit for the Batavia Arts Council, planned from 5:30 to 9 p.m. Aug. 28 in the upstairs lounge at Gaetano's restaurant in Batavia.

A ticket to Batavia Arts Council Swing includes appetizers, a drink, music and dancing, with proceeds providing the grants awarded within the community by the council.

"We're keeping it simple this year – partnering with Gaetano's," BAC board member Irene Bond Anderson of Batavia said.

The council arranged to use the eye-catching lounge space with Gaetano's owner Wendy DiBenedetto, whom Anderson describes as "such a culinary artist." The benefit can accommodate 60 guests.

"And we have this really great band that my husband happens to be a part of," said Anderson, noting the band will play jazz dating from the 1920s to '40s in the New Orleans tradition. "It's very accessible. People tend to feel very happy when they listen to it."

Anderson said the band features Phillips on trombone and vocals; Patrick Donley on piano, guitar and vocals; her husband, Dan Anderson, on string bass and tuba; and Kim Cusack, who was "a crowd-pleaser last year [who] sings and plays amazing clarinet."

Dan Anderson, who is donating his time to the fundraiser, has performed around the world in both the classical and jazz realms, appearing with such groups as the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Chicago Jazz Ensemble, Chicago Brass Quintet and Von Freeman Quintet.

"All the money we do earn … through various fundraising events… we put it right back into the Batavia arts community through grants funding and scholarships," Irene Anderson said. "Grant applications are online now and we're accepting them until Aug. 28 [for 2018]."

She noted the following grants were awarded for 2017: Water Street Studios, $3,000; The Albright Theatre Company, $1,000; Dox on Fox, $750; Acappellago, $750; Batavia High School Drama Department, $500; Batavia High School Instrumental Music Department, $500; and "The Fox Valley Nutcracker," $500.

"We're all volunteers and we give all [proceeds] back to the community because we … want to keep it that artsy town that we all love," Anderson said.

She and BAC President Julane Sullivan invite people to join the board or become volunteers.

Irene Anderson said they are talking about creating a larger event in the future, possibly involving a street art fair that would be reminiscent of the Art in Your Eye festival.

For tickets to Batavia Arts Council Swing or to learn more about the council and how to get involved, visit

If you go

WHAT: Batavia Arts Council Swing starring The New Street Rhythm Boys

WHEN: 5:30 to 9 p.m. Aug. 28

WHERE: Gaetano's restaurant, 15 E. Wilson St., Batavia 

COST: $40 at


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