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By Indiana Reed
Special to The PREVIEW
Retro swing band Big Bad Voodoo Daddy (BBVD) returns to the Community Concert Hall at Fort Lewis College, Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2012, 7 p.m., with the “Wild & Swingin’ Holiday Party,” a live version of BBVD’s popular album, “Everything You Want for Christmas.”
The dance floor will be open.
BBVD, celebrating its 20th anniversary, was among the architects of this generation’s swing music revitalization. The zoot suit-clad band has delivered a series of contemporary recordings and super-sizzling live performances, fashioned from the swinging days of the ’40s and ’50s. BBVD’s sound is a successful fusion of classic jazz, swing, Dixieland and big band music. Its songs have passed into the classic American songbook, playing alongside pop standard songs in film and television, including reality competitions such as “Dancing With the Stars.”
Formed originally in Los Angeles in 1992, BBVD had by 1993 established a residency at Los Angeles’ legendary Brown Derby nightclub and gained mainstream popularity with the breakthrough performance in the movie “Swingers.” Today, BBVD has endured as one of the most popular touring bands on the road, carrying on the tradition of the legendary big bands and orchestras.
Though BBVD-style holiday songs will be the focus of the Concert Hall show, with the recent release of its new album Rattle Them Bones, which debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard Jazz Charts, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy will undoubtedly include a few of the new tunes in the playlist.
Of the new album, Will Friedwald of the Wall Street Journal wrote, “There’s a lot to be said for a band that offers a swinging, danceable mix of Count Basie, Randy Newman and Jon Hendricks, together with leader Scotty Morris’ engaging originals.”
Noted Morris in a press release, “After all these years, I still enjoy writing in a vintage style … We’re far from finished making music. We have big plans for the next 20 years.”
BBVD includes Morris (vocals), Kurt Sodergren (drums), Dirk Shumaker (string bass and vocals), Karl Hunter (alto, tenor and baritone saxophones and clarinet), Andy Rowley (baritone saxophone and vocals), Glen “The Kid” Marhevka (trumpet) and Joshua Levy (piano).
The band’s name dates back to 1989 when bandleader Scotty Morris enjoyed an auspicious meeting with blues guitar legend Albert Collins. Morris, who had just launched a three-piece jazz, blues and swing combo, asked Collins to autograph a promotional concert poster, and he signed it “To Scotty, the big bad voodoo daddy.” The name stuck.
Tickets for Big Bad Voodoo Daddy — $40/$50 — are available by calling 247-7657, or the web at www.durangoconcerts.com.
Showtime is 7 p.m., with doors to the Concert Hall and concessions, serving beer, wine and non-alcoholic beverages and snacks, opening at 6 p.m.
On show day, the box office at the Concert Hall will be open one hour prior to curtain, and remain open through intermission. When no intermission is scheduled, ticket sales will continue one hour past curtain. Purchase tickets to three or more Concert Hall productions in one sales transaction and receive 10 percent off each ticket. Discounts cannot be combined, and all sales are final.
The Community Concert Hall is a not-for-profit, multi-use performance venue located on the campus of Fort Lewis College. Its ability to bring a diverse spectrum of shows to Southwest Colorado is made possible through a partnership with the college, a state-supported, independent institution of higher education, and through financial and in-kind contributions from generous members of the community.