Fulton native returns for concert

Fulton High School graduate Allan Howe will return to perform as part of the band he leads, Swing Set, at the Canal Landing gazebo on South First Street, Friday, Aug. 3.

Coordinated by the Fulton Department of Parks & Recreation, the concert will get underway at 6:30 p.m.

For the concert in Fulton, Swing Set will consist of Howe on piano and vocals; Tom McClure of Geneva on sax, clarinet, flute; Rochester bassist Gary Cummings; and drummer Terry (“Spanky”) Haschmann from Greece.

The group will perform mostly Swing-era tunes, ones made popular by Frank Sinatra, Billie Holiday, Duke Ellington, and more recently Nancy Kelly, Diana Krall, and Mark Murphy, Howe’s cousin.

Howe comes from a long line of Fulton musicians: Howes, Murphys, and Bidwells.

“This past winter my cousin, Dwight ‘Doc’ Murphy, passed away, and I am dedicating this concert to his memory. He — along with my mother, Mary Howe Woodruff — was one of my main inspirations to continue in music and persevere through those early years when progress is so slow,” he said.

“Doc inspired lots of others, too, teaching music for just under 40 years, heading bands of his own, and always leading singalongs at family reunions, during which we started early and ended late, laughing and singing all the way.

“Dwight is also brother to one of the world’s best jazz singers, Mark H. Murphy, and the two men grew up making music all through the central New York area,” he added. “Brother Mark has had six Grammy nominations and produced more than 30 albums as a vocalist.”

Most of Howe’s playing takes place in western New York, where he resides, but in the summer, when his family returns to the family cottage in Fair Haven, he often plays in an area from Geneva to Fair Haven and Oswego.

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