Residents and students are invited to attend a night of live music and dance.
By Mary O’KEEFE
During the swing era there were no smartphones, no social media and certainly no music platforms like Apple and Spotify. It just came down to a band playing music that most had never heard before – short rhythmic passes that repeat many times and got people onto the dance floor. It was a type of jazz that took by storm the late 1930s to 1940s. Benny Goodman and Duke Ellington brought their big-band swing music to America and beyond, and there was nothing like it.
Swing dance and swing music may have faded from their heights of popularity in the mid ’40s but it is still strong at many local clubs around the country … and on Friday night at Crescenta Valley High School café.
Crescenta Valley Instrumental Music (CVIM) presents Jazz Night in the CVHS Café on Friday from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. Tickets are $15, which includes admission, dessert and dance lessons that typically start at 7:30 p.m. For a “more VIP experience,” $75 reserves a table for four. Dressy casual-jazzy attire is encouraged.
Jazz Night at the Café has been a long tradition – over 15 years – for CVIM and has been a fan favorite. People of all ages can be found on the dance floor, from toddlers to grandparents.
The event was canceled in 2021 due to the pandemic but came back “swinging” in 2022.
“I have a firm belief that in order for students to fully understand jazz music, they need to study the old swing style,” said Mat Schick, CVHS music director, in an earlier interview. “That’s because it’s a huge part of the foundation of jazz. It was really the first iteration that proved to be widely accepted and successful.”
The evening is a lot of fun, with dancing, good food and good friends; however, the real star of the show is the award-winning CVHS jazz band.
“We have 24 members in the jazz band,” Schick said.
They will be playing at their first festival of 2024 on Feb. 24 at the Mayfair High School Blue Dragon Jazz Festival.
Schick added this year they have focused a lot of attention on bringing back CVHS alum band members.
And they will also be bringing back to the dessert table the chocolate fountain, another fan fav.
Tickets can be purchased at the door; this event is a fundraiser for the award-winning CVIM program.