Artpark will travel back in time 75 years as Sal Andolina and the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra perform Big Band's greatest hits on July 26.
The songs patrons of the BPO will hear during two performances, at 2 and 8 p.m., that day were the Top 40 tunes of the era, Andolina said. The show, he said, is "a wonderment," with the BPO performing Big Band standards with the same arrangements and the same charts as in the day the songs were new.
"It was a magical time with virtuosos, truly great artists," he said of the years 1935-48, when Jazz was the No. 1 style of music in America. Band leaders such as Artie Shaw, Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong and Benny Goodman were household names. Andolina likened them and their music to that of Beethoven and Brahms, saying the "tone poems" the 20th century arrangers created still echo, just as much as the songs from their classical music forebears.
"There's genius in it," he said of the music. "In the early 20th century, these composers and arrangers were writing many masterpiece symphonies that fit on a three-and-a-half minute side of a 78 rpm disc."
And, he said, as in days gone by, the audience can take a swing on the giant Artpark dance floor as well, turning the Mainstage Theater into an east coast version of the old Palomar ballroom in Los Angeles that hosted some of the great bands of the 1930s.
Featured will be Giovanna Andolina (Sal's daughter, an accomplished dance major at The Ohio State University), Julie Amato, and Samantha Ruotsi, part of a dance troupe on the Artpark dance floor. Concertgoers are encouraged to dance as well.
For tickets, visit www.artpark.net, or call 754-4375, ext. 125.