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Locals gather for annual Arnie Mig Big Band Memorial concert in Howard Beach

Sep. 5, 2023 By Bill Parry

South Queens residents kicked off Labor Day weekend at the 12th annual Arnie Mig Big Band Memorial Concert on Thursday, Aug. 31, in Howard Beach.

State Senator Joseph Addabbo and Assemblywoman Stacey Pheffer Amato hosted the event in the parking lot at St. Helen’s Catholic Academy, located at the corner of 157th Avenue and 84th Street. The show featured Frank Pedulla and the Music Staff Swing Orchestra & Dixieland Band, whose performance was a big hit with the audience of more than 100, with their rendition of Benny Goodman’s “Sing, Sing, Sing” among the crowd’s favorites.

The show also featured vocalist Michelle Collier from the Swing 46 Jazz and Supper Club and humor from Howard Beach comedian Randy Novick, better known in South Queens as “Rockn’ Randy,” with a routine modeled after the humor of Rodney Dangerfield, who grew up in Kew Gardens.

The namesake of the concert, Arnold “Arnie Mig” Migliaccio was the leader of the Serenaders in Blue Orchestra that held the very first annual swing concert for the residents of Howard Beach nearly three decades ago where they performed Big Band-era jazz music from the 1940’s.

When Migliaccio died on June 7, 2009, Addabbo wanted to honor his legacy and continue the tradition that he established. Addabbo started the Arnie Mig Memorial Big Band Concert in 2009 so the residents of Howard Beach could continue to enjoy the music that Migliaccio played for them.

Many of the musicians who performed with the Music Staff Swing Orchestra & Dixieland Band, also played for Arnie Mig’s Serenaders.

State Senator Joseph Addabbo and Assemblywoman Stacey Pheffer Amato hosted the event.Courtesy of Addabbo’s office

“I am so pleased that this concert brings so much joy to the community,” Addabbo said. “It’s important to keep community traditions like this one alive, so that future generations can enjoy this special type of music and learn about people like Arnie Mig.”

Addabbo and Pheffer Amato thanked co-sponsors Brady & Bader Law Firm and QARI, as well as St. Helen’s for the use of their parking lot space.

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