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The Los Alamos Summer Concert Series returns to Ashley Pond today with a performance by the Los Alamos Big Band at 7 p.m.
The show is free of charge and paid for by the sponsors of the Concert Series.
The Los Alamos 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 their director since that year. They still play the music of the 1930s and the music of the war years playing swing, two-step, fox trots and waltzes, but it’s OK dancers to do their own thing. LABB also play music from the late 1940s, 1950s and even a little of the 1960s.
The band plays a lot of music from some of the bandleaders 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 play 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 danceable, classic songs in their repertoire.
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,” Coordinator Russ Gordon said. To read more and view photos go to losalamosbigband.com.
Next Friday, the concert switches venues to the Pajarito Ski Area for a concert with the Taos country dance band, South by Southwest featuring Mike Hearne, Jimmy Stadler and Zeke Severson.
The last show of this, the 25th year of the series will feature the Whitewater Ramble on Sept. 5 at Ashley Pond.