‘Night of Swing’ offers jazzy fun

Published 11:50 pm Friday, October 14, 2011

Put on your dancin’ shoes. And if you don’t have any, go buy a pair because there’s a “Night of Swing” coming and no tapping toes will want to miss it.

The “Night of Swing” will be from 6 until 8 p.m. Tuesday on the square in downtown Troy. The first-time event is sponsored by Troy University’s John M. Long School of Music and the City of Troy and will feature the Troy University Jazz Ensemble No. 1 and several guest artists.

Ray Smith, Troy University associate professor of music, said the idea for a “Night of Swing” originated with his friend, Johnny Mizelle, who donated his library of more than 500 original jazz charts to the university. “These charts will be great for research and as a way to keep this wonderful music alive,” Smith said. “This was a very generous donation of big-band music charts and the university wanted to add a Big Band music concert to its calendar.”

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And, just a concert of Big Band music would have been fine.

“But, what if people wanted to get up and dance?” Smith said. “So, we decided to have a ‘Night of Swing’ and invite people to put on their dancing shoes and come to the square and enjoy a night of great music, fun and fellowship.”

Smith said the Troy University Jazz Ensemble will play about 30 selections from Mizelle’s charts.

The concert is a great opportunity for the student musicians to learn play swing music and to learn about the history of the art form.

“The concert will feature the original swing music from the 1940s era, and it will be music that people recognize,” Smith said. “You’ll hear, ‘In the Mood,’ ‘Tuxedo Junction,’ April in Paris,’ ‘Stars Fell on Alabama’ – all of the favorite Big Band songs. It will be a great night of swing whether you just sit back and listen or get up and dance.”

Smith said he’s not sure about the dance floor. He’s leaving that up to Raymond Sexton (Troy City Grounds Superintendent).

“Raymond is a talented and creative guy and he’ll have a place ready for swinging,” he said. “‘Night of Swing’ is free and open to the public.”

Organizations and large groups may contact Smith at 670-3282 or the City of Troy at 566-0177 for seating accommodations.