The Kentucky Symphony Orchestra Surveys The Original Swing Band Hits Of The '30s & '40s As Well As The Jump-Jive Swing Revival Of The 1990s

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The Swing eras were defined by depression, conflict and fun. The KSO fields two hot bands for a concert/dance and primer on Swing.

The KSO plays Stan Kenton's Neophonic charts in 2011

"Audience members may dance to the great swing hits of both 75 & 20 years ago. Where can you do that?” — KSO's James Cassidy

The Kentucky Symphony Orchestra (KSO) Lindy hops back to two Swing Eras for it’s November 18th show at the Northern Kentucky Convention Center. Experience true blasts from the past as the KSO’s 18-piece swing band provides a history lesson with the authentic sounds of the original Swing Era (1931-1943); followed the crazy jump tunes of the 1990s revival featuring the 10-piece Covington Devou-Doo Daddies. Learn how the depression, world conflict, and the need for diversion came together to generate the great American musical genre known as Swing.

Swing music began percolating within the various jazz idioms from across the country and the Tin-pan Alley songs of the 1920s. With the advent of the big band in the 1930s, names like Fletcher Henderson, Benny Goodman, Cab Calloway and Glenn Miller conjured up a new infectious sound that sent folks in droves to the dance floor to jump, spin and jive their cares away. “For the past 25 years, the KSO has branched out to authentically dabble in various musical genres which use instruments also found in the orchestra,” KSO founder and music director James Cassidy commented. “So you will hear, on the program’s first half, a fantastic big band playing original charts or transcriptions of the famous hep-cat band leaders of the day, followed by the KSO’s 10-piece swing revival band on the second half. Audience members may dance to the great swing sounds of 75 & 20 years ago. Where can you do that?”

The opening swing big band set will feature standards like Artie Shaw’s version of “Begin the Beguine,” Tommy Dorsey’s “Marie” and Count Basie’s “Jumpin’ at the Woodside,” but attendees will also hear lesser known greats like Charlie Barnet’s “Scotch & Soda,” Glenn Miller’s take on Verdi’s “Anvil Chorus,” Duke Ellington’s “Sepia Panorama,” Cab Calloway’s “Hep Hep the Jumpin’ Jive” and more. Nostalgic video, photos and facts will accompany this concert/dance. (The KSO actually contacted Cab Calloway’s daughter and Charlie Barnet’s grandson to assist with acquiring the charts).

Fifty years after the first swing era ended, a short revival took place with bands like Royal Crown Revue, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, Brian Setzer and others providing a brisk, high-energy swing that brought back the athletic dancing, the call-and-response singing of the band, and a hot sound that found its way into movies (Swing Kids, The Mask), commercials (GAP) and on the radio (“Zoot Suit Riot,” “Jump Jive & Wail”). In recent years the KSO added another subsidiary group to its stable — the Covington Devou-Doo Daddies — to accurately showcase this 1990s fad (the group is named after Covington’s Devou Park with a hat tip to Big Bad Voodoo Daddy). Local vocalist Troy Hitch fronts a group of fabulous tristate musicians. The complete evening playlist is attached.

The Kentucky Symphony Orchestra fills the first floor Event Hall at the Northern Kentucky Convention Center with more swinging than any baseball game at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, November 18. Cash bars will be open. Reserved table and standard seating tickets are $35, $27, $19 (children ages 6-18 are 50% off all ticket prices) and are available online at, by phone at (859) 431-6216, or at the door.

About the KSO:

For 25 years the Kentucky Symphony Orchestra has taken the “phony” out of symphony by eliminating traditional barriers and presenting engaging, live, thematic concerts that enrich, educate and entertain the residents of Northern Kentucky and Greater Cincinnati. The KSO performs three series of concerts annually throughout Northern Kentucky.

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James R. Cassidy
Kentucky Symphony Orchestra
since: 07/2009
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