The Free Press, Mankato, MN

December 21, 2012

Don't miss: Blue Ox Jazz Babies at Pub 500; Habitat for Humanity concert

The Free Press

Blue Ox Jazz Babies renew holiday tradition

Christmas is a time of traditions.

And the Blue Ox Jazz Babies aren’t about to buck the trend.

“This is our ninth year in a row,” said Jim Hayes, who plays trombone in the Mankato six-piece that has made its concert on Christmas Eve morning at Pub 500 an annual event.

This year, the self-styled “Dixieland ragtime band” plays 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. The band also plays 6-9 p.m. on Saturday at the Loose Moose Saloon in Mankato.

Hayes said the band plays the majority of its shows in the summer, performing in 30-40 fairs, festivals, parties and parades. But the Christmas shows, he said, have become a welcome seasonal diversion — both for the band and the Pub 500 patrons.

“You know, sometimes it’s good to get out of the house when you have all the decorations up and the family over,” he said. “It’s great therapy for me.”

The Blue Ox Jazz Babies have a long history that dates back decades. Hayes is the only remaining original member — the “lone ranger” as he puts it — and plays alongside the sons and daughters of former members. 

The Blue Ox Jazz Babies are: Tim Robinson (trumpet), Barry Clapper (clarinet), Ted Schreyer (tuba) Debbie Owens (banjo), Tom Owens (washboard/singer), and Hayes (trombone).


Habitat for Humanity concert at Patrick’s

ST. PETER — The Bass Brand Brass Band and City Mouse are pairing for a benefit concert on Saturday at Patrick’s.

During the concert, donations will be collected for Habitat for Humanity of South Central Minnesota.

The Bass Brand Brass Band plays at 8 p.m.. City Mouse plays at 9 p.m.

“It should be a really good night,” said Billy Steiner of City Mouse.