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Published: Thursday, 12/4/2008

Concert will honor late 'Queen of Jazz'

Rusty Monroe was a fixture on Toledo's jazz scene for decades. Rusty Monroe was a fixture on Toledo's jazz scene for decades.

Toledo s unofficial Queen of Jazz will be remembered by her friends and family Sunday when a memorial concert is held to honor the late Margaret Rusty Monroe.

In addition, the jazz community will honor other local favorites who died this year including trumpeter Jimmy Cook, singer Mary Ann Russo, and musician and educator Dave Melle.

Monroe, who died of cancer at age 89 on Oct. 11, had presented live music at her cozy Toledo jazz club from 1963 until she retired in 2003.

Many national artists performed at Rusty s Jazz Cafe, which had an international reputation as a jazz haven, and Monroe gave scores of local artists their first chance to get up on stage in front of an audience.

Sunday s memorial concert will feature music by the Damen Cook Trio, with special guest Ramona Collins on vocals; a solo performance by trombonist Mike Whitty, and the vocal group Sixth Edition.

The Sixth Edition lineup includes Lisa Young, Russo s daughter.

Suzanne Carroll, a close friend of Monroe and host of the weekly Jazz Brunch program on WRVF-FM, 101.5 FM, ( The River ), organized the memorial and is urging friends and family to bring items marking the history of these jazz stars.

Any flyers, sheet music, recordings, videos, or other artifacts that help tell the story of these jazz artists and patrons will be considered for inclusion in the Toledo Jazz Archives, a collection housed at the Toledo-Lucas County Public Library that was initiated by Monroe.

The Rusty Monroe Jazz Archive Memorial Concert will be from 2 to 6 p.m. Sunday at the Maumee Indoor Theatre, 601 Conant St. A jam session, led by the Bob Rex Trio, will follow starting at 6:30 p.m. at the Rouge Bistro, 6060 Renaissance Place off Holland-Sylvania Road, Sylvania.

Contact David Yonke at:dyonke@theblade.comor 419-724-6154.

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