UWL jazz ensembles’ swing era

UWL Director of Jazz Studies Jeff Erickson directs one of the UWL jazz ensembles.

32nd annual Big Band Cabaret set for Saturday, Feb. 16

Two 18-piece big bands from UW-La Crosse will perform sounds and recreate sights of the 1930s and ’40s swing era. An evening of singing, dancing and big band swing is set for the 32nd annual Big Band Cabaret at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 16, in The Bluffs in the UWL Student Union, 521 East Ave N.

The “Tuxedo Dance Orchestra” — the UWL Jazz Orchestra — led by UWL Director of Jazz Studies Jeff Erickson will be joined by a number of featured instrumentalists and vocalists. The spotlight will be on Erik Adams playing drums on Benny Goodman’s “Sing, Sing, Sing,” while clarinetist Josh Baker will be featured on Goodman’s “Let’s Dance.” A pair of duets will be sung by Mike Meyers and Cassie Quinn on the Nat and Natalie Cole version of “Walking My Baby Back Home” and the Michael Buble and Jane Monheit arrangement of “I Won’t Dance.” Quinn will also sing arrangements from Ella Fitzgerald’s songbook, such as “Cheek to Cheek,” while Meyers will bring the sounds of Frank Sinatra with songs like “Luck Be a Lady” and “Nice and Easy” with the “Black Coat Jazz Band” — the UWL Jazz Ensemble.

The biggest hits of the big band era will be performed, including Glenn Miller’s “In the Mood,” Little Brown Jug” and “Pennsylvania 6-5000,” as well as a few contemporary selections, such as the Brian Setzer Orchestra’s version of “Jump, Jive and Wail.”

In addition to big band favorites, both groups will perform a variety of dance styles including polkas, waltzes, cha chas and tangos. A large dance floor will be set up. The concert is cabaret-style seating at tables. Beverage service and snacks will be available.           

The suggested donation for this scholarship fundraiser is $30 for patrons, $10 for students and $15 for others. For tickets, call 608.785.8415 during regular business hours. Tickets will also be available at the door, but reservations are recommended.

If you go—

Who: Two 18-piece big bands from UW-La Crosse  

What: 32nd annual Big Band Cabaret

When: 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 16

Where: The Bluffs, UWL Student Union, 521 East Ave. N.

Admission: $30 for patrons, $10 for students and $15 for others. For tickets, call 608.785.8415