Big band favorites from “As Tisket A Tasket” to a medley of Benny Goodman’s hits will be performed at the first concert presented by Musicians at Play, a 501 (c) 3 non-profit foundation dedicated to the enrichment of local communities’ quality of life through a variety of music performances and fine arts events.

The Vintage Masters of Swing All Star Big Band Concert takes place at The Broad Stage on Saturday, June 13, beginning at 7:30 p.m. A VIP reception, which will provide guests with a rare opportunity to meet the performers and composers, will precede the concert starting at 6 p.m. The reception will benefit MAP Foundation

“We are excited to present The Vintage Masters of Swing, celebrating the work of several legendary composers. We are especially thrilled that they will all be in the audience with us that evening,” said April Williams, MAP Executive Director.

The concert will feature the work of five big band greats – Patrick Williams, Ralph Carmichael, Bill Holman, Sammy Nestico and Van Alexander (celebrating his 100th birthday) – and Richard Sherman, who has created a new arrangement of “A Spoon Full of Sugar” especially for this event. Bill Holman will conduct this new “old favorite” originally written by Sherman in 1964 for the film, “Mary Poppins.” The concert, brought together by composer-conductor Tim Simonec, will also feature Tierney Sutton and Sue Raney on vocals. Leonard Maltin, one of the country’s most recognized and respected film critics and historians, will serve as Master of Ceremonies. A few highly-anticipated surprise guests will also participate.

“Cell Talk,” written by Sammy Nestico (age 91), and “A Hefti Does A Basie,” by Patrick Williams (age 76), will premiere, as will a new arrangement of “A Foggy Day in London Town,” by Bill Holman (age 88) Nestico is known for his work with the Count Basie Orchestra and on many fan-favorite TV shows, including The Bob Newhart Show, Charlie’s Angels and M.A.S.H. Holman is prized for his work with Stan Kenton and with his own big band.

“I’ve Got You Under my Skin” and “The Song is You,” both from Patrick Williams’ “Sinatraland” album, will be performed. Grammy nominated Sue Raney will sing “How About Me,” arranged by Ralph Carmichael (age 88). The audience will also hear Van Alexander’s (age 100) arrangement of “Milenberg Joys,” “Just Friends,” arranged by Sammy Nestico and performed by Tierney Sutton, and “Strike Up the Band,” just to name a few. Williams received a Grammy in 1974 and several subsequent nominations for his big band recordings. He has also composed for many TV shows, including the Mary Tyler Moore Show, and Lou Grant.

Carmichael has arranged for Ella Fitzgerald, Bing Crosby and other greats. He is also recognized for his work on “The Blob,” “I Love Lucy,” and “My Mother the Car.” Prior to creating music for TV hits like “Hazel,” “Bewitched,” and the “Wacky World of Jonathon Winters,” Van Alexander was celebrated for his work with Chick Webb, and recording sessions with Benny Goodman and Dinah Shore.

“We believe live music offers a unique means of connecting us to our common humanity,” said MAP’s Williams. The Musicians at Play Foundation was founded this year by Williams and a group of music professionals. The Foundation will present several music events each year throughout the city, performed by many of the world’s most talented and sought-after artists and presented to audiences of all ages. With a focus on big bands, jazz, chamber music and live music-to-film events, Musicians at Play will be offering concerts and educational outreach programs in order to expand cultural awareness and foster new generations of musicians and music lovers.

Concert tickets may be purchased at www.MusiciansAtPlay.org.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *