Each year, the VJC Big Band performs a benefit gala for the VJC Scholarship Program. This time, it honors the legendary Artie Shaw by welcoming four affiliates of the Artie Shaw Orchestra to join in for the evening to perform dance music using original arrangements that he made famous. This very special dance concert will feature three current members of the Artie Shaw Orchestra: Sara Hayes on guest vocals, Artie Shaw Orchestra Director Matt Koza on clarinet, Kerry MacKillop on trumpet, and past orchestra member John Wheeler (who now plays for the VJC Big Band) on trombone. These musical guests will be swinging with VJC’s Big Band under the direction of its music director Rob Freeberg.
Artie Shaw was in the top echelon of bandleaders during the Swing Era’s height of popularity. Between 1935 and 1945 one could experience this music live and dance to the touring ensembles of Artie Shaw, Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Glenn Miller, Woody Herman, Benny Goodman and the Dorsey Brothers. There is no substitute for listening and dancing to this music live–it wildly surpasses hearing it on record. Take advantage of the opportunity and come experience true bliss: spend the night reminiscing and dancing to beautiful, classic music: “Begin the Beguine,” “Deep Purple,” “Indian Love Call,” “Stardust” and “Frenesi” are just a handful of the swinging jazz standards made famous by Shaw’s Orchestra, and they will be performed at the Vermont Jazz Center by a full, swing band–all while raising money for the VJC Scholarship Fund. Not to be missed!