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Date of Issue: October 01, 2008

Obituary

/10-1-08/obit-harris.jpg
Herbert J. Harris, 91
/10-1-08/ooh-harris-svend.jpg
Herb and Svend
Svend Asmussen, right, recognized as one of the foremost jazz violinists in the world, joined Herb Harris and his trio at Ooh La La! Bistro in Holmes Beach in December 2006 for music and a welcome from a standing-room-only crowd. Harris is pictured, left, on drums.
Herbert J. Harris

Herbert J. Harris, 91, of Key Royale in Holmes Beach and New York City, a noted percussionist, died Sept. 21.

Born in Manhattan, Mr. Harris left New York in the mid-1930s, playing drums for bands on the traveling vaudeville circuit, winding up in Chicago, where he soon joined George Olsen’s swing band.

In 1945, after serving in the U.S. Coast Guard in Manhattan Beach, N.Y., he attended The Juilliard School, one of the world's most prestigious performing arts conservatories, where he majored in tympani and percussion.

As a pit drummer on Broadway, Harris opened 30 shows in 14 years, including “On the Town,” by Leonard Bernstein, “Call Me Mister,” and the Broadway musical that propelled Carol Channing to fame, “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.”

In a career with many highlights, Mr. Harris said he was honored to be invited by Bernstein to join the New York Philharmonic in 1958, where he played for 24 years. At the same time, he played in and contracted with numerous orchestras for film, radio, TV-show theme music and commercials, as well as working 18 years as Joseph Papp’s music administrator on such productions as “Hair” and “A Chorus Line.”

He accumulated a vast collection of ethnic musical instruments during his travels around the world, and became an authority on world music. In 1988, he donated 1,000 instruments to the music department of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

On moving to Holmes Beach in 2000, Harris formed a jazz trio that recorded and released two CDs and played locally with the Anna Maria Island Community Orchestra and Chorus. His trio performed at numerous events, clubs and restaurants locally, including Ooh La La! Bistro and Da Giorgio Ristorante in Holmes Beach, the Longboat Key Community Center, the Studio at Gulf and Pine, and events for the Jazz Society of Sarasota.

A memorial service will be held in New York City at a later date. Memorial donations may be made to Tidewell Hospice and Palliative Care, 5955 Rand Blvd., Sarasota FL 34238.

Harris is survived by wife Francis Rainer.

 

Patricia Cappello

Patricia Cappello, 70, of Holmes Beach, died Sept. 26.

Mrs. Cappello was born in Cherry Hill, N.J., and moved to Manatee County in 1991 from Palatine, Ill. She was a graduate of Pierce Business School and was employed as a hostess by American Airlines.

A Memorial Mass will be held at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 4, at Ss. Peter & Paul Catholic Church Chapel. Memorial contributions may be made to TideWell Hospice & Palliative Care, 5955 Rand Blvd., Sarasota FL 34238. Arrangements are by Griffith-Cline Funeral Home.

Survivors include her husband of 48 years, Roger; two sons, Craig and wife Elizabeth Cappello and Jeff and wife Beverly Cappello, all of Bradenton; brother William E. Ferguson of Ocala, Fla.; grandchildren Nolan, Francesca, Nicholas and Emily.

 

Evelyn Muzzey Gerhard

Evelyn Muzzey Gerhard, 95, of Bradenton, died Sept. 21. Mrs. Gerhard was born in Buckeye, Texas.

She was a graduate of the New England Conservatory of Music. Evelyn was an accomplished violinist and often would play violins that her father made for her. She started playing the violin at age 9 and, at age 12, Evelyn played for the Peoples Symphony in Boston. While in high school, she played in an orchestra that was guest conducted by the late John Phillip Sousa. She played in various symphonies and churches wherever she lived.

She spent 10 summers on Lake Winnipesaukee in New Hampshire where she and husband Bill Muzzey owned Paugus Bay Seaplane Base, providing sightseeing and air-taxi service. She rode horses and competed in 40-mile endurance rides.

Mrs. Gerhard moved to Manatee County in 1968 from New Jersey. She was a member of the West Bradenton Baptist Church. She enjoyed traveling, music, oil painting and horseback riding.

Private services will be held at a later date at Palma Sola Cemetery in Bradenton. Memorials may be made to a local animal shelter. Condolences may be made online at www.shannonfuneral homes.com. Arrangements by Shannon Funeral Home, Westview Chapel, Bradenton.

Mrs. Gerhard is survived by son William R. and wife Carole Muzzey Jr. of Bradenton; two daughters, Janice Tressler Simpson of Holmes Beach, Carol and husband Randy Scott of Ona; six grandchildren, Pamela and husband Brad Klein, Cathleen and husband Hunter Williams, Lynn and husband Frank Latosek, Cynthia Cordell, William Muzzey III, Ronald Baskins and six great-grandchildren.

Evelyn Muzzey Gerhard, 95, Bradenton, passed away September 21, 2008. Private family services will be held at a later date. Memorials may be made to Sarasota Manatee Association for Riding Therapy, 4800 CR 675, Bradenton, Fl. 34211. Condolences may be made online at www. shannonfuneralhomes.com. Arrangements by Shannon Funeral Home.

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