Monday, December 8, 2008

Swing Street Christmas Concert

Swing Street delivers old-fashioned Christmas
Big band to play at the Panida Theater

SANDPOINT, ID--Mark your calendars for an evening of great musical performances you won’t soon forget. It’ll be a night to remember, when some of the "finest talent that the Northern Region has to offer" comes together on one stage, for one night, for a good and worthy cause — the Daybreak Dementia Center Day Program, a non-profit organization sponsored by the Sandpoint Senior Center. With a multi-purpose goal of offering stimulation, therapy, socialization and respite for families, the center strives to bring support, laughter and a sense of hope to families living with dementia. Daybreak official Kelly Hurt encourages visits to tour the center.

This benefit concert by the Swing Street Big Band brings us "An Old Fashioned Christmas," which is worth the price of tickets alone.

"It don’t mean a thing if it ain't got that swing" is a motto Tom Walton and the late Ed Brown have had since the beginning, when the Swing Street Big Band took to the stage in 1998 in the old Elks Club. Ten years later, the band is still thriving, due mainly to a community that has embraced the notable, traditional swing style.

The Big Band's laudable uniqueness is due, in part, to its vocal quartet, "Swing Shift," as well as classically trained singer Karen Nielsen, and — incredibly — almost 400 songs in its vast musical library.

Band members come in all shapes, sizes, and from all walks of life — including pilots, engineers, a pharmacist, band directors, a taxidermist — the list is varied and colorful.

Swing Street's performances are highlighted by some of their most memorable ones: the Davenport Hotel Ballroom in Spokane, the Festival at Sandpoint New Year’s Eve festivities, Sandpoint Title formal parties, POAC Concerts on the Lawn, the Huckleberry Festival in Trout Creek, Mont., and Panhandle Alliance for Education events. The Big Band has performed in most of the towns and communities in the northern Panhandle region.

On tap to add their unique flavors to an already great sound — Selkirk Brass, Sandpoint Performing Choir, Along Four the Ride, Jon Brownell, Bill Reid and Maria Larson, John Kelley and Peter Lucht, Karen Nielsen, as well as the Swing Shift vocal quartet comprised of Tami and Dave Gunter, Joni Dirks and Alan Ball. This group often performs with the Big Band, providing the vocals for many of the Swing Era Standards, as well as your contemporary favs.

You could duplicate this lineup, if you flew to New York or L.A., but it's right here on our very own Panida stage! This is a show to cap off your office party, your Christmas shopping, or whatever else you may have on your calendar for the weekend.

Bring your friends to the concert on Saturday, Dec. 13, at 7:30 p.m. at the Panida Theater. Tickets are available at Eves Leaves, F.C. Weskill's, Monarch Mountain Coffee, and, of course, from band members. Call Tom Walton with questions at 208-263-3913.


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