It wasn’t there—and then suddenly it was.
It’s true: the uniquely American art form we call jazz didn’t grow and evolve slowly. One moment America was still rural and largely Victorian culturally; the next she had fought in a world war and was exporting the Jazz Age worldwide. It was like Edison switching on the light: in 1917 jazz found its way onto Edison’s invention, the phonograph, and within a decade that raucous beat had taken over the world.
The GO Jazz Big Band invites you to join us as we look at 1917: The Year that Changed the Course of Jazz History. You’ll hear a live rendition the very earliest commercial jazz recording form 1917, Livery Stable Blues, by the Original Dixieland Jazz Band—but you’ll also hear music from Ella Fitzgerald, Dizzy Gillespie, Thelonious Monk, Buddy Rich, and other giants of American music, all born in the watershed year 1917.
The band’s special guest for this event is popular jazz vocalist Sara Gazarek, whom the LA Times says has “a remarkable capacity to transform everything she sings into the rhythmic swing and inventive phrasing that is the heart of the jazz vocal art.” Along with Sara’s interpretations of Ella, GO Jazz vocalist Steve Lively will offer his take on a Dizzy Gillespie favorite and a Dean Martin classic. And of course the whole band will tear through the timeless standards of Monk, Dizzy, and Buddy with their customary ferocity.
1917: The Year that Changed the Course of Jazz History with the GO Jazz Big Band happens on Sunday, November 19, at 3pm at the West Ranch High School Theater. General admission is $10, seniors $5, and as always students are free. Check out the band’s website, GOJazzBigBand.com for more information.
Tickets purchased at door.