Local musicians, artists on tap for annual Coffeehouse

A singer and guitarist on stage

After a yearlong break because of COVID, the Lee College Coffeehouse is illuminating the stage once again for a fun evening of entertainment, talent and creativity at the Black Box Theater on Saturday, Oct. 2, at 7 p.m.

The annual musical showcase brings together a diverse group of singers and songwriters from around the community, and gives them a platform to share their talents.

Ken Booker, director of Instrumental Music at Lee College, has organized and implemented this unique community event for over a decade. When he started the Coffeehouse in 2009, his goal was simply to provide a high-quality venue for artists in the community to do what they love. Booker is excited to once again be able to bring that opportunity back to local performers.

“As a musician and composer myself, I know that any time an artist gets the opportunity to be part of something like this, it’s a good thing because it provides that creative outlet everyone needs,” said Booker. “Giving them a venue to do that gives me so much satisfaction. I really like to see it happen.”

Local musician, Tony Jackomis has performed at the Lee College Coffeehouse many times, both as a solo musician and as part of a group. He enjoys playing this event because of the feedback from the crowd and the opportunity it brings to grow as an artist.

“The event attracts people who really love music and know a lot about it,” said Jackomis. “It’s a rare experience to play to a room full of people like that who are watching with intent and listening to every note.”

“For me, it’s been a place where I’ve been able to experiment and find myself as an artist. The setting is so intimate, and when you’re performing you really get a good sense of what the audience is responding to – what works and what doesn’t. The audience has greater access to the performers as well,” he said.  

To keep the audience on their toes, the Coffeehouse venue has also welcomed poetry readers, rappers, comics – even a juggler has taken the stage in the past!

An audition is required to perform at the Coffeehouse, and there are still a few spots left. Anyone interested in auditioning for the show can contact Ken Booker at kbooker@lee.edu for more information. Tickets to the Coffeehouse are $5 at the door, and light snacks and drinks will be available for purchase. All proceeds from the event benefit students of the Lee College Music Club. The Black Box Theater is part of the Lee College Performing Arts Center located at 805 W. Texas Avenue in Baytown.

Lee College offers more than 100 associate degree and certificate programs, as well as non-credit workforce and community education courses, that prepare its diverse student body for advanced higher education; successful entry into the workforce; and a variety of in-demand careers. With the main campus and McNair Center located in Baytown, Texas, and a satellite education center in nearby South Liberty County, the college serves a geographic area of more than 220,000 residents that includes 14 independent school districts. To learn more, visit www.lee.edu.

Glenn Miller Orchestra swinging into PAC in March

The Glenn Miller orchestra performs on stage. A band leader stands before brass, woodwinds, and a piano player.BAYTOWN, TX — The world-famous Glenn Miller Orchestra – known for the legendary dance bandleader who founded the beloved group and dominated the Swing Era of the 1930s and 1940s with a matchless string of hit records – will bring the classic sounds of big-band music to the Lee College Performing Arts Center (PAC) next month.

The Glenn Miller Orchestra will perform on the PAC main stage at 3:30 p.m., Sunday, March 5. Tickets are $20-40 and available for purchase online at http://www.lee.edu/pac, or by calling the Box Office at 281.425.6255.

First launched by Miller in March 1938, the orchestra is now an 18-member ensemble that continues to play many of his original arrangements. The group’s repertoire also includes modern selections arranged and performed in the iconic Miller style and sound, and music from the famed Glenn Miller Army Air Force Band that entertained servicemen in live concerts and radio shows during World War II. Fan favorites like “In the Mood,” “Chattanooga Choo Choo” and “Don’t Sit Under the Apple Tree” are all part of the regular program, along with lesser-known tunes like “The White Cliffs of Dover,” “Rainbow Rhapsody” and “Everybody Loves My Baby.”

In true big-band fashion, the Glenn Miller Orchestra is on the road longer and more continuously than any other in the world – covering more than 100,000 miles per year and working nearly every night for 48 weeks out of the year. The orchestra performs for more than 500,000 people annually, entertaining crowds throughout the United States, Europe, Australia, Asia and South and Central America. “Moonlight Serenade,” the beautiful theme of the orchestra in the 1940s that was composed by Miller himself, remains their signature tune today.

Lee College offers more than 100 associate degree and certificate programs, as well as non-credit workforce and community education courses, that prepare its diverse student body for advanced higher education; successful entry into the workforce; and a variety of in-demand careers. With the main campus and McNair Center located in Baytown, Texas, and a satellite education center in nearby South Liberty County, the college serves a geographic area of more than 220,000 residents that includes 14 independent school districts. To learn more, visit www.lee.edu.