Gloucester will celebrate the life and music of its world famous jazz trumpeter, Sylvester “Hooley” Ahola (1902-1995), a classic jazz trumpeter and cornetist, in two events this month at the Lanesville Community Center, at 8 Vulcan St. which once served as the Ahola family’s dairy barn.
The first event is free and takes place on Sunday, March 10 from 1:30 p.m. to 4 p.m.
The program is titled “Hooley’s Place in Jazz History,” which will feature his music and stories by people who knew and played with him. There will be photographs and displays as well as some of his home movies from the 1930s, which he was known for. The event is open to the public and will be followed by coffee and nisu.
Ahola performed in both England and the United States. In his early career, he began performing with Frank Ward and His Orchestra. In 1926, he was part of a two-month tour to England where he played with Paul Specht and his orchestra, followed by stints with The California Ramblers and Adrian Rollini and his band.
He moved to England in 1927 when he played with the Savoy Orpheans as well as with Bert Firman and Bert Ambrose. He returned to the United States in 1931 where he settled in New York City, only a drive from his native Gloucester.
The next event takes place on Saturday, March 23, from 8 to 11 p.m. featuring listening and dancing to Ahola’s music played live by the seven-piece jazz and swing band called The Seacoast Stompers. Beer and wine will be on sale. Tickets are $10 in advance and are available at Gloucester Music and the Plum Cove Grind in Lanesville, or $12 at the door. For more information, directions, visit go to: lanesvillecommunitycenter.org.
Also during the month of March, the Cape Ann Museum will celebrate “Hooley” with an exhibit from the museum’s archives.