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Big Band performers swing by the Big Island

Updated: 
July 25, 2014 - 12:05am

Kahilu Theatre presents The Tommy Dorsey Orchestra at the Waikoloa Beach Marriott’s Naupaka Ballroom at 7 p.m. Aug. 17. The performance will include live swing dancing, The Swing Sisters female trio and vocalist Bryan Anthony ­— 25 musicians, singers and dancers celebrating the golden era of the ’40s.

“We’re headed to the coast to make room for two dance floors and more seating,” said Kahilu Theatre artistic and managing director Tim Bostock. “Kahilu hosted the Glenn Miller Orchestra in 1984. This is the first visit to the island from a swing big band since then ­— world-class talent with a strong flavor of nostalgia.”

In Big Band history, the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra is recognized as one of the best all-around dance bands. It could swing with the best of them, and no other band could come close to Dorsey’s when it came to playing ballads. Tommy Dorsey, “The Sentimental Gentleman of Swing,” was a master at creating warm, sentimental and musical moods at dancing and listening tempos.

The concert will be a musical journey down memory lane, with original arrangements of Tommy Dorsey hits include “I’m Getting Sentimental Over You,” “Bugle Call Rag,” and many vintage Sinatra classics. The Swing Sisters compliment the show, performing the greatest hits of The Andrews Sisters. An added attraction is a pre-show swing dance demonstrations by island dance group The Hilo Hep Cats.

Dorsey became one of the greatest Big Band leaders of that era and was honored with Grammy Awards for “I’ll Never Smile Again” and his famous theme song “I’m Getting Sentimental Over You.” The orchestra will also pay tribute to Benny Goodman, Artie Shaw, Harry James and Woody Herman, featuring such classics as “Sing, Sing, Sing,” “Memories of You” and “Begin the Beguine.”

VIP tickets include the best seats in the house, early admission and a reception on the lawn and lanai, including drinks, pupu and pre-show entertainment. Grammy-nominated and three time Na Hoku Hanohano Award nominee, Kahulanui will perform for VIP guests.

Doors open at 6 p.m. with pupu and drinks available for purchase. Swing dance attire is encouraged.

Tickets are available at kahilutheatre.org, at the Kahilu box office, or by calling 885-6868. Tickets are $121 for VIP, $77 for A-Section, both centrally seated at tables, with $42 and $32 tickets in theatrical seating. VIP and A-section tables of 12 are also available for purchase.