Jazz to be featured in Big Band performance

The annual Valentine’s Big Band Dance presented by the ISU Jazz Ensembles will be held from 7  to 10 p.m. on Friday at the New Lafayette Club, located at 1602 S. Main St., Bloomington.

“I’ve been doing the valentine’s dance for close to 10 years now. I host it to give the students a chance to play a different kind of music than what is normal for a jazz band … [the music] is similar to what pop would have been 80 years ago,” Thomas Marko, director of instrumental jazz, said.

The event will feature classic big band music from the ‘30s and ‘40s.

Attendees are welcome from all dance level backgrounds and can expect a variety of dance styles including cha-cha, rumba, waltz, swing, salsa and samba.

Admission to the event is $15 per person and all proceeds will help support jazz activities at ISU.

There are no early tickets available or registration necessary, simply buy the admission at the door of the event.

“The dance is a participation kind of thing. We play the music and participants come and enjoy themselves dancing,” Marko said.

There will also be a cash bar and plenty of parking available at the event.

Marko explained the band enjoys playing for dancers because it gives a different feeling than just simply playing a more traditional concert.

“It’s a good alternative experience for the students to play for dancers. It is also good from a historical standpoint for the students because our band essentially replicates what big bands once were,” Marko added.

Attendees should come wearing something more formal than street clothes.

“I’d say something comfortable to dance in but make a bit nicer than jeans and a t-shirt,” he said with a laugh.

Marko said his expected turn out for the event is around 100 attendees.

“We hope to raise money [to support jazz activities at ISU],” he said. “I would feel pretty good if were able to sell more than 100 tickets for the students.”

Marko added the event is always a fun time for his band and also for the dancers who attend.

For more information on the event contact Media Relations at (309)438-5091 or visit their website at MediaRelations.Ilstu.Edu/Report/1314/Jan28/Dance.asp.

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