Best Big Band music

July 14, 2019
23 photos for Vosh Lakewood

Big Bands and all sorts of That Jazz

Severance Hall

Tickets: $29 to $89

Since 1995, conductor, clarinetist, and entertainer Carl Topilow and his Cleveland Pops Orchestra have delighted audiences with shows that inventively mix light ancient, swing, jazz, Broadway, Dixieland, and Klezmer music. On Saturday, October 24 at 8:00 pm in Severance Hall, Topilow will start the Orchestra’s new season with a course entitled “Big Band and All That Jazz.”

“There’s likely to be lots of great huge Band songs, and plenty of joking around, ” Topilow said during a telephone discussion. “We’ll be playing Paul Ferguson’s arrangement of Mozart’s E​ine Kleine Nachtmusik. ​It’s a takeoff on Mozart’s not­very­well­documented stop by at brand new Orleans.”

Topilow laughed. “It is a musicological development — it is K. 525B.”

Other Paul Ferguson plans on the system include medleys of tunes by Duke Ellington, Irving Berlin, Glenn Miller, and Harry James, plus Hoagy Carmichael’s beloved S​tardust.​ Ferguson, who’s also a highly skilled trombonist, should be featured in ​A Salute to Tommy Dorsey. ​“Paul writes so well. He in fact is the star with this system, ” Topilow stated, including, “it’s a large advantage to have a man like him playing in orchestra. The Harry James medley he organized for our fantastic trumpet player Jack Schantz is brand ­new. Jack’s been a fixture associated with jazz scene in Northeast Ohio for numerous many years, plus it’s great having him within the Orchestra.”

Saturday’s system will consist of activities by vocalist Barbara Knight, who can be featured during Duke Ellington’s C​aravan, ​and pianist Rock Wehrmann, who'll be forward and center during George Gershwin’s E​mbraceable You.​ Drummer Jim Rupp will round things completely during Louis Prima’s S​ing, Sing, Sing.​ “One of important elements of the program usually they are all local people, ” Topilow pointed out. “We’re perhaps not calling in performers from ny or Los Angeles. We now have our personal home­grown skill, like Paul, Jack, Barbara, Rock, and Jim.”

Definitely, Topilow himself is a superb jazz clarinetist who can often be counted to reveal at least one of his colorful instruments. “I’m kind of in 5th location next to these guys, ” Topilow stated earnestly. “But i'll find my method to the G​lenn Miller Medley​, Southern Rampart Street Parade​, and S​ing, Sing, Sing​.”

The Orchestra may have its opportunity to shine during Richard Rodgers’ ​Slaughter on 10th Avenue. ​“Most of this pieces regarding the system are only three to seven moments long, but i needed to program one significant benefit the Orchestra, which is a fantastic ten full minutes’ worth of jazz-­influenced traditional songs.”

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