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Friday, June 7, 2013

Black Swan Classic Jazz Band Brings "SWEET AND HOT" Music to Tacoma

Here in the Northwest, June means sunshine (we hope), roses, baseball, local strawberries, and … jazz. Yes, jazz, America’s music. It’s time once again for the long awaited Jazz@TMP show presented each June by the Tacoma Musical Playhouse and producer Lance Buller, the well-known trumpet player who draws crowds to Maxwell’s every Friday night with his trio. Each year, his show at TMP features a different band, and 2013 will be remembered for "Sweet and Hot," a ONE NIGHT ONLY special event featuring the Black Swan Classic Jazz Band from Portland, Oregon and their vocalist, Marilyn Keller. This is jazz a la New Orleans. The fun begins at 8 p.m. 

Black Swan will serve up blues, stomps, marches, ragtime and gospel,” said the band’s leader, Kit Johnson. “Songs will be selected from the 1890s through Tin Pan Alley through the Golden Age of song to selections recently composed by our band members.” (Listen to "Joe Avery's Piece.")

Traveling back in time to these earlier musical eras is as easy as driving to Tacoma where the Tacoma Musical Playhouse is located at 7116 Sixth Ave., just blocks from the Narrows Bridge. When the band begins to play, you might find yourself transported to the French Quarter of New Orleans in the 1920s or F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel The Great Gatsby. But instead of a movie score, you can hear the authentic sound of America’s classic jazz and more, performed live.

This well-known ensemble has been popular at festivals and many other public and private events since it began in 1989. Marilyn Keller performs songs as sassy as a night at a speakeasy, or deeply moving gospel tunes and ballads, with equal ease. You can listen here, and here. For several years, she has performed in Denmark as a guest with New Orleans Delight jazz band.

Buller describes this year’s production as “… an incredibly entertaining show, with a pinch of music education, and a whole lot of fun for all ages!” His partnership with the Tacoma Musical Playhouse goes back several years, with Jazz@TMP now eagerly anticipated in the community. The venue is ideal.
Johnson looks forward to bringing Black Swan to TMP. “Hot jazz demands intimacy between the musicians and audience,” he said. “The theater setting allows us to get cozy with the listener, to feed off their energy, and to infuse that enthusiasm and closeness into the music.”

Come get cozy for a delightful evening of "Sweet and Hotmusic at this year’s Jazz@TMP. But don’t wait too long to buy your tickets because seats are reserved and demand will be high. You can purchase yours now through the online box office or by calling (253) 565-6867. Tickets for all seats are $25. 

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