Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Benefit for former Ike and Tina Turner saxophonist
to be held this Sunday, June 22 at BB's

St. Louis' blues musicians once again are banding together to help one of their own, as four popular local blues groups will present a concert to benefit Jim Koerber, former saxophonist with the Ike and Tina Turner Review, from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. this Sunday, June 22 at BB's Jazz, Blues and Soups, 700 S. Broadway.

For a $10 admission fee, listeners will hear sets from the Soulard Blues Band, the Mighty Big Band, Los Carnales Blues Band, and Alvin Jett and the Phat noiZ Blues Band. All proceeds will go to medical and living expenses for Koerber, who has been battling tongue cancer and no longer is able to work as a musician.

Originally from North St. Louis, Jim Koerber played in many local bands, including the Classmen, whose lead singer Gayle McCormack later went on to record the national hit "Baby, It's You" as a member of the group Smith. After moving to Los Angeles, Koerber toured and recorded with Ike and Tina Turner during the duo's most popular years in the late 1960s and early 1970s. He can be heard on a number of their recordings, including their hit version of "Proud Mary," and appeared with them on national TV programs such as The Ed Sullivan Show and The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson.

Upon leaving the music industry, Koerber returned to St. Louis and established a new career running his own delivery business. However, due to his illness, he has been unable to devote full time to it, and now is facing financial difficulties as well. In response, Koerber's old friends, including Art Dwyer and Tom Maloney from the Soulard Blues Band, have organized this benefit show. "We hope people will come out to the show, have a great time, and raise some money to help Jim Koerber, a great R&B sax player in the St. Louis tradition of Oliver Sain, Erskine Oglesby and Harry Simon," said Maloney.

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