Asheville Jazz Orchestra performs swing at the White Horse on Oct. 26

The 17-piece Asheville Jazz Orchestra brings swing music from the ’30s and ’40s to the White Horse Black Mountain on Saturday, Oct. 26. 8 p.m., $15.

From a press release: “The jazz of the Roaring Twenties was built around small ensembles playing a style featuring a lot of simultaneous group improvisation with a 2-count feel. Along with these “hot” jazz bands there were also dance orchestras featuring a sweeter sound, even using strings. In the early ’30s African-American bands started to experiment with larger groups that emphasized tightly arranged brass and reed parts anchored by a strong rhythm section that held down a four to the beat pulse that pushed the back beat, still leaving plenty of room for virtuoso solos. The turning point for swing was arguably a 1935 Palomar Ballroom show by the tight Benny Goodman band and their use of arrangements by the great Fletcher Henderson. The Swing Era peaked from 1935-1946, with the focus always on danceability, before postwar economics and changing tastes made it harder to keep big bands on the road.

“The 17-piece Asheville Jazz Orchestra was founded in 2006 to keep this exciting musical style in the public eye. They play music from Swing Era masters like Duke Ellington, Count Basie and Benny Goodman, as well as progressive big band charts from the likes of Thad Jones and Stan Kenton. They also renew the swing tradition for the 21st century with new pieces by area composers.”


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