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Darien Musicians Bring the Past to the Present

DARIEN, Conn. – Town resident Lew Green's father and two uncles played in the first coast-to-coast live band radio broadcast and provided the music for Walt Disney's first Mickey Mouse cartoon. Today, Lew and his wife Mary travel the world, playing music in the jazz and ragtime tradition.

"We try to bring the past to the future," Lew said. "After all, isn't everything old new again?"The Greens will play with Ragtime Evolution at the Darien Arts Center on Saturday. In the past year they have also played in Australia, at the Elkhart Jazz Festival in Indiana and in Switzerland with their son, Jeff. All over the world fans are eager to learn about the history of music as the Greens weave stories with music from composers such as Louis Armstrong, George Gershwin, Cole Porter and Fats Waller.

"Musicians have to be on the go," said Mary. "Nobody comes to our house to hear us play. We have to take the music to them."

The Green family has a rich history of playing music for more than 150 years, starting in the Civil War. Lew's father and uncles started their own 10-piece orchestra, the Green Brothers Novelty Band. Lew and Mary paid tribute to this history by calling their band Greens' New Novelty Orchestra. Several years ago, they made a series of recordings using methods from the 1890s. These recordings have been placed in the Smithsonian.

"They were just getting started back then, and we've come a long way in just over 100 years," Lew said.

The Greens will be playing music from the late 1800s to the 1930s for one night only, starting at 8 p.m. Tickets are $25 for adults, $15 for full-time students and $10 for Darien Arts Center music students.

Do you know any Darien musicians? Tell us about them in the comments below, on Facebook and on Twitter .

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