By the time Matt Tolentino was 8 years old, he had listened to all kinds of music, from classic rock to classical orchestras.
But then he heard old jazz, and it changed everything.
"Hearing the 1920s music was different for me, it triggered something other music hadn't," Tolentino said.
Now the career jazz musician and singer will help bring the music of the 1920s and Bix Beiderbecke back to the Quad-City Times Bix 7.
Tolentino, from Cincinnati, will perform with a 10-piece band at The Heights of the Era, an all-day music event in Lindsay Park during and after the Bix 7 on July 24. They will play at 9:20 p.m., the last group of the night.
Heights of the Era will feature 12 music acts from 7:45 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. July 24. A pre-event is scheduled for June 25 at Lindsay Park in Davenport.
The group will play original sheet music of popular songs from the 1920s and 30s, Tolentino said, making the performance as authentic as possible.
"It'll be just like it was done 100 years ago, which is hard to believe," he said.
Throughout his career as a musician, Tolentino has learned to play clarinet, saxophone, piano, accordion, tuba, banjo and guitar — and will pick up whatever instrument is needed to make the gig happen.
For The Heights of the Era, he will sing and play banjo. The band will be made up of brass and rhythm sections, and a saxophone.
Tolentino has visited Davenport once already, stopping by on his way through to pay respects to Beiderbecke. The music of the jazz legend and Davenport native reignited Tolentino's love for the genre when he had briefly strayed away at age 15.
Some of the popular hits Beiderbecke played with different groups will be performed by Tolentino and the band. He said he's excited to be playing in Beiderbecke's hometown, at an event that surrounded itself in music and to see the vision of organizer Michelle Russell come to fruition.
"I owe it to guys like Bix," he said, "for helping me get started."