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Big Band concert comes to Evans

Posted: February 8, 2012 - 1:06am
Perry Bertolone plays the baritone saxophone during a rehearsal for Augusta Amusements' Big Band. The performance is at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Jabez Sanford Harding Performing Arts Center.  Photo by Jim Blaylock
Photo by Jim Blaylock
Perry Bertolone plays the baritone saxophone during a rehearsal for Augusta Amusements' Big Band. The performance is at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Jabez Sanford Harding Performing Arts Center.

After Mike Deas found some old music stands inside a downtown Augusta theater, his wheels started turning.

Once those stands were restored, Deas, the president and CEO of Augusta Amusements, had formed his goal: revive jazz music from the 1930s and 1940s for the Augusta area.

“I’ve got music stands that date back to the 1940s era,” Deas remembered thinking. “Now we need to create a Big Band.”

Deas enlisted Columbia County Orchestra Association Music Director Rob Nordan to help find local musicians and create song sets.

Nordan quickly got to work recruiting artists and planning the music aspect of the performance.

On Saturday, their hard work will come to fruition when nearly 20 jazz musicians get on stage at 7:30 p.m. at the Jabez Sanford Hardin Performing Arts Center in Evans.

The concert will feature saxophonists Rob Foster and Joel Cruz, trumpeter Fabio Mann and other artists from the area, Nordan said.

News 12 anchor Richard Rogers will make a guest appearance on the drums, he added.

“There may even be some opportunities for some dancing backstage,” Nordan said.

Audience members are encouraged to dress in their best attire from the Big Band era.

The set list includes Glenn Miller’s In the Mood, Artie Shaw’s Begin the Beguine and Benny Goodman’s Sing, Sing, Sing.

“It’ll be a lot of fun,” Nordan said. “I think people will enjoy it.”

Deas hopes Saturday’s concert is the first of many.

“It’s kind of been a dream of mine,” he said.

“It seems like Big Band music is still popular in the area.”

Admission costs $20-$25. Doors to the theater open at 6:30 p.m.

The Big Band performance will start Augusta Amusements’ 2012 season, which includes a March 17 concert by the Glenn Miller Orchestra.

Augusta Amusements was started in 1931 and dissolved in 1968.

During that time, the company brought film and live entertainment to Augusta theaters in addition to building the Miller Theater on Broad Street.

Deas revived Augusta Amusements in 2009.

For more information about the concert or to purchase tickets, call (706) 726-0366 or visit www.augusta
amusements.com.

IF YOU GO

What: Augusta Amusements’ Big Band concert

When: 7:30 p.m. Saturday; doors open at 6:30 p.m.

Where: Jabez Sanford Hardin Performing Arts Center in Evans

Cost: $20-$25 depending on seat

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