Saxophone, trombone and trumpet are coming together in Anacortes for a Big Band Dance Party May 12.
The Anacortes Public Library Jazz Committee is bringing 18-piece big band group Skagit Swings to the Skyline Beach Club.
Skagit Swings is made up of an eclectic group of former band directors, retired principals, engineers, university computer science faculty, dentists and professional musicians, said band agent and manager Gary Bruno.
He said they’re pros when it comes to the old tunes, and they get together to play in venues across Western Washington.
“They play for the love of it,” Bruno said.
Anacortes Public Library Director Cynthia Harrison said this is the third year the library has hosted Skagit Swings, and it’s always a big hit.
“Last year it was part of the centennial celebration, and we received lots of great feedback, so we decided to do it again,” she said. “People who go may not all dance, but they love the music.”
The night will feature the music of Glenn Miller, Count Basie, Tommy Dorsey, Benny Goodman and other big band legends.
Featured vocalist Beth Wallace will join the band to cover lyrics by Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald and a host of other definitive voices of the era.
The night is made possible by the Manieri Jazz and Swing Music Endowment and the Library Foundation.
The Manieri Endowment was formed when Patricia Manieri left a sizable donation to the library in honor of her husband, Dominic Manieri.
The library invested the money and uses the earnings from the investment to promote jazz and swing through scholarships, instrument donations, a collection of music CDs and performances, including the Big Band Dance Party.
“We’ve got all these avenues to get out into the community and help people learn about jazz and swing if they don’t know and help them enjoy it if they do,” Harrison said.
Ticket sales to the dance will also raise funds for the library, but mostly it’s about enjoying an older generation of music.
Bruno said after a big band concert, folks on Fidalgo Island always ask when the next performance will be. He said dressing up and dancing to a live swing band is a special experience, especially for older generations.
“There’s a nostalgic portion of this that brings people back to when they were 17 or 18,” he said.
Big Band Dance Party
• Skagit Swings Band performs 7-10 p.m. Saturday, May 12 at Skyline Beach Club, 6041 Sands Way. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. The Rockfish Grill will provide a no-host bar, and snacks will be provided.
• Tickets $15, available at the Anacortes Public Library, Donatello Flowers & Gifts, How it Works or at the door.
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