The West Texas Jazz Orchestra is entering its ninth year as one of the premier big bands in the state and will be in concert at the Odeon Theater in Mason Saturday, August 18 at 7:00 PM. Reservations for the performance are $15 per person. The group is a 17 piece big band, consisting of 5 saxophones, 4 trumpets, 4 trombones, piano, bass, guitar and drums. Based in San Angelo, the group is made up of the finest jazz musicians in West Texas. Most of the players are in the teaching profession; public school band directors, and college professors from Angelo State University, McMurry University and Hardin Simmons University.
Performing music from the 1940’s to the present, the band’s library consists of the actual arrangements as performed by the great bands such as Count Basie, Benny Goodman, Glenn Miller, Tommy Dorsey and others. Drummer and leader of the group, James Bode, has, for the last 30 years been able to collect the authentic arrangements (as opposed to re-arranged or simplified published pieces), and states: “if you’ve heard recordings of Benny Goodman’s band playing Bugle Call Rag, or Sing Sing Sing, or Glenn Miller’s Tuxedo Junction, for example, those are the exact arrangements that we perform. They’re definitely not easy, but the strength of the band has allowed us to play anything that we want.”
Whether you’re a jazz fan or not, you’ll find that the big band music is an infectious sound, and if you were fortunate enough to have been able to hear the great bands in their day, you’ll be grandly entertained with this group. You’ll definitely have a hard time staying still; whether it’s tapping your foot or getting up and dancing.
Make advance reservations for this special show for all ages by sending your $15 per person donation to Concert, P.O. Box 1599 Mason, Texas 76856 by October 25. Make checks payable to the Odeon Preservation Association. For more information or reservations please call Dennis or Kay Evans at 325 347 6781 or email at Concerts@TheOdeonTheater.com. Reservations are not confirmed until they have been paid in advance. Concessions will be open and you may bring your favorite beverage