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December 07, 2016
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There’s an app for that!

Charley Krachy, left, Don Messina and Kazzrie Jaxen performed jazz standards (with Bill Chattin on drums) in Callicoon.

Determined to make the evening even more special, Joseph Franco of North Branch, NY surprised his girlfriend during the parade with a spectacular marriage proposal. As a beautiful banner unfurled in the middle of the parade, hundreds of spectators cheered, wept and threw confetti as his lovely bride-to-be, Jenna Ferguson, blushed and accepted. The young couple was mobbed by an entire town of well-wishers during the rest of the route as they begin a new chapter in their lives. To view pictures of the affianced (and the parade in general) go online, “like” The River Reporter ( and tag your friends.

On Saturday, I had the good fortune to catch the Kazzrie Jaxen Quartet ( in Callicoon, NY, where musicians Jaxen, Don Messina, Charley Krachy and Bill Chattin enthralled a brunch crowd with their improvised “free form” jazz interpretations of standards, including “There Will Never Be Another You,” “What Is This Thing Called Love?” and “The Man I Love.” Chatting with the crowd, Jaxen shared that they “love to play standard tunes, always improvising and never really knowing how it’s going to unfold. You [the audience] are a part of the process,” before taking her place at the Steinway. Great skills and smooth vocals combined seamlessly in Jaxen’s parlor, and I left the concert inspired to tickle the (virtual) ivories once more, thrilled to find multiple apps (“Virtuoso” and “Piano Free”) for that.

Sneaking out before the finale, I was anxious to catch the CAS “Winter Members Show,” ( dedicated to the memory of founding member and potter Cecily Fortescue. Unveiling the gallery’s plan to dedicate a wing of the space to Fortescue, Cecily’s husband Arnie was on hand, and a mob milled about, reminiscing about Fortescue’s talent, contributions to the community and infectious joie de vivre. Once again inspired (and wishing that I could paint, draw or create pottery), I checked out the stunning CAS “Santa Room” created by Charlie Irace for the upcoming “Trains on Main” exhibit, marked my calendar to return, and installed the “Abstract Art Gallery” and “Sketchbook Express” apps on my Ipad, for future reference.