And now for something completely different! At 7 p.m. today, Aug. 22, the Los Alamos County Summer Concert Series returns to Ashley Pond for a concert by the Los Alamos Big Band.
The show is free of charge and paid for by the sponsors of the Concert Series. See the list of sponsors at www.gordonssummerconcerts.com. This concert is Los Alamos Daily Post Night.
The LA Big Band has been a fixture in town since 1945 when the “pop band” was called the LA All-Stars. In 1984, they became the LA Big Band, an “oldies band.” Jan McDonald has been the director since 1984. They still play the popular music of the 30s and the incredible music of the war years, playing swing, two-step, fox trots and waltzes but it’s okay for you dancers to do your own thing. LABB also play music from the late ‘40s, ‘50s and even a little of the ‘60s.
The Band plays a lot of music from some of the magical band leaders like Glenn Miller, Benny Goodman, the Dorsey and the Gershwin brothers, Artie Shaw and the royals, Count Basie and Duke Ellington. They use the same arrangements as those directors and will be playing such standards as “String of Pearls,” “I’ll Be Seeing You,” “Take the ‘A’ Train,” “In the Mood,” “It Don’t Mean a Thing (if it ain’t got that swing)” and “One O’Clock Jump.” They have more than 300 classic songs in their repertoire and you can dance to every one!
The LA Big Band has 17 members: a drummer, pianist, bassist, four trumpets, four trombones, five saxophones with some doubling up on clarinet and vocalist, Elisa Enriquez. I’m not going to name all the musicians, but I will say that most of them live in town. You can read more about them and see pictures at www.losalamosbigband.com.
Next Friday, Aug. 29 we’ll be at the Pajarito Ski Area for a concert with the Taos country dance band, South by Southwest, featuring Mike Hearne, Jimmy Stadler and Zeke Severson. Our last show of this, our 25th year of the Series will feature the Whitewater Ramble Sept. 5 at Ashley Pond. We hope to see you at the concerts.