Santa Maria Sun / Music
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 13, Issue 19
A big soundDick Clark's Big Band Orchestra will perform jazz and swing standards for a benefit show in Lompoc
BY JOE PAYNE
During the 1930s and ’40s in America, one ensemble reigned supreme: the big band. Band directors such as Glenn Miller, Jimmy Dorsey, Count Basie, and Billy May kept America dancing through the Great Depression and World War II. Today, big band orchestras are harder to come by, but some, like Dick Clark’s Big Band Orchestra, still perform the standard music with the same style, flair, and spirit of the era in which it was created.
Dick Clark, not to be confused with the Dick Clark of “American Bandstand,” first started directing his orchestra when it was called the Note-ables back in 1980, performing up and down the Central Coast. Now, the group simply goes by Dick Clark’s Big Band Orchestra and boasts 16 members, including alto, tenor, and baritone saxophone, trombones, trumpets, drums, bass, and piano.
The ensemble is performing at an upcoming benefit concert. Hosted by the First United Methodist Foundation of Lompoc, the concert will feature hits of the ’30s and ’40s, with all proceeds going toward the foundation.
“We are trying to raise some funds, and the Dick Clark Band was gracious enough to put on a concert at no cost for us,” said Vern Kemp, a member of the foundation’s board of directors. “I was influenced to do this by a benefit event I saw in Arroyo Grande, and I thought we could do that in Lompoc.”
The program for the concert features a diverse array of big band material, not just limited to the ’30s and ’40s. The oldest composition comes from 1899 and is a setting of the “Maple Leaf Rag” by the great genius of ragtime Scott Joplin; the most contemporary piece is “Mambo Swing” composed in 1998 by Scotty Morris. The band won’t stand alone instrumentally, but will be joined by two vocalists, male and female.
Bob Nations will be singing for several selections, including Louie Armstrong’s “It’s a Wonderful World.” Nations has been singing standards for years and has performed at the Fess Parker Country Inn and as part of Jane Russell’s Swinging ’40s group. The female vocalist for the program is Lois Jaskolski, who has sung for her church and played French horn for the Santa Barbara City College “Symphonic Winds.” She will also accompany Nations with trumpet on “It’s a Wonderful World.”
Dick Clark and his Big Band Orchestra are not strangers to donating their time. According to Kemp, the ensemble often plays in area convalescent centers and rest homes for residents.
“Of course I’m biased because I grew up in that era, but I think the music is the easiest to listen to and dance to,” Kemp said. “The population that grew up in that era, our numbers are getting smaller and smaller each year.”
The concert will be held at the First United Methodist Church in Nipomo. The church plays host to many local ensembles, such as the Lompoc Pops Orchestra, Lompoc Valley Master Chorale, and the Lompoc Concert Association. Everyone interested in hearing big band classics while supporting a local religious nonprofit should head to the show on July 22.
Music on the lawn
The Santa Maria Parks and Recreation Department presents “Concerts in the Park,” featuring a live concert by the Bomb on July 22 from 1 to 3 p.m. at Rotary Centennial Park, 2526 S. College Dr., Santa Maria. Free. More info: 925-0951, Ext. 260.
You could win
The New Times Music Awards deadline is fast approaching, and entries have been pouring in, but it’s not to late to enter up to three original songs in the following categories: country/Americana/folk; R&B/blues; rock/alternative; reggae/worldbeat; hip-hop. You may also enter up to three original songs in the songwriting competition. And you may enter one album released between July 30, 2011, and July 30, 2012, for the album category. Each song or album entry costs $10. Visit newtimesslo.com to download an entry form. The deadline to submit is 5 p.m. on July 30. Winners of the genre categories must be available to play the awards ceremony and concert on Sept. 6 at SLO Brew.
The Maverick Saloon offers live entertainment, including country rock music by the J.D. Bernal Band in concert July 20 at 8:45 p.m. followed by “Late Night with guest DJ’s” at 11:30 p.m. “Concert on the Deck” with several guest artists is July 21 at 3 p.m. The J.D. Bernal Band performs live rock music July 21 at 8:45 p.m., followed by “Late Night with DJ Totem” at 11:30 p.m. at the saloon, 3687 Sagunto St., Santa Ynez. More info: 686-4785 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Contact Calendar Editor Joe Payne at email@example.com.
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