Wine and jazz with Rocklin Historical Society

Mother, daughter singers to unite on stage for first time
By: Andrew Westrope, Staff Writer
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When: 7:30 p.m. Saturday, May 11

Where: Old St. Mary’s Chapel, 5251 Front St.

Tickets: $25; to reserve, call Gay Morgan at (916) 624-2355



Heritage will be the theme of the night at a Rocklin Historical Society fundraiser Saturday, as local singers from different generations collaborate to raise money to restore one of Rocklin’s historical landmarks.

Having restored Old St. Mary’s Chapel and transformed a former doctor’s office into a museum, the historical society has set its sights on rebuilding the old firehouse that once stood on Front Street. To raise money for the work, the society has invited local jazz singer Karin DeFoe and her mother, famed singer and vocal teacher Cheri Murphy, to perform at Old St. Mary’s Chapel this weekend, with a wine bar on the patio sponsored by Kiwanis.

Event organizer Gary Day said the old firehouse was also the sheriff’s office and city hall, and served Rocklin from its completion in 1893 until it was torn down in the early 1940s. He said the society has raised more than $15,000 in the past year with other fundraisers, but the ultimate goal for the work is closer to $70,000.

“We’ve done other ev-ents on Front Street, but this is the first time we’ve tried wine and jazz,” he said. “We have a jazz singer who’s pretty famous in the area, and her husband is the president of the historical society, so she agreed to sing for us and bring her ensemble along and put on a show.”

No stranger to performing at local parties, dinners and other private engagements, DeFoe will lead the event with Latin jazz tunes accompanied by esteemed musicians Tony Kaye on guitar, Bill Douglass on bass and Jon Cocuzzi on piano. Though her day job as a nurse has been a serious time constraint, she said she grew up surrounded by music and has been a singer all her life. Her father, Jerry Murphy, was a famed jazz pianist and former president of a musicians union in Sacramento, and her mother, Cheri, has been a singer since age 16.

DeFoe said she started singing with her mother’s jazz combo in 2009, and jumped at the chance to help the historical society and share the stage with her mother at the same time.

“It just happened that this venue was the day before Mother’s Day, and then we decided we should sing together, because we never have,” she said. “It’s really emotional. As I’ve been preparing my music, all these feelings have come up that I’m having to sort out, from the past. It’s really an emotional experience for me to be able to take the wand from my mom.”

Still giving regular music lessons in Sacramento and holding workshops every three months, Murphy said she’s “thrilled to death” to see her musical career come full circle, as a teacher and a mother, by sharing a duet with her daughter.

“(Dan DeFoe) invited me to sing, especially because it’s Mother’s Day weekend, so I’m just going to do a couple of numbers, and then Karin and I will sing one number together,” she said. “I’m there to support her, and I am donating my part of the performance and also one of the recent CDs that I’ve done to the concert attendees for a small donation to the building fund … One of the songs that she’s singing is called, ‘Something in the Air,’ so that’s what we plan to do – put a little music in the air that evening.”