The big band era returns when Swingtime Big Band kicks off the 2015 Downtown Sounds Concert Series at the Glen Cove Village Square Plaza on Friday, July 3, at 7:30 p.m.
Swingtime is a 20-piece authentic big band comprising master interpreters of the swing music that defined American popular music from the mid-1930s through the early 1950s.
Swingtime specializes in performing original arrangements of big band classics from the great American songbook. The band’s set list includes authentic recreations of the timeless music of Count Basie, Glenn Miller, Benny Goodman and Duke Ellington. Swingtime members have played with such luminaries as Lionel Hampton, Billy Eckstine, Sammy Davis, Jr., Tommy Dorsey and Buddy Rich. In 2007, the band was recognized by The Big Band Hall of Fame as “ambassadors of big band music.”
Swingtime’s leader is saxophonist and artistic director Steve Shaiman, a passionate advocate of Big Band swing for his entire musical life. Between songs, Shaiman imparts background information about the music that adds greatly to the performance.
The band also features male vocalist Jerry Costanzo and female vocalist Bobbie Ruth, who recreates the “gal vocal” stylings of legendary singers including Peggy Lee, Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday and Judy Garland.
Swingtime dedicates this year’s performance at Downtown Sounds to the memory of Marty Napoleon, a renowned jazz musician and Glen Cove resident who passed away in April. Napoleon was a Downtown Sounds regular as both a performer and guest.
Every Friday night during July and August, the Downtown Business Improvement District and the City of Glen Cove join forces to bring Downtown Sounds to the Village Square at the intersection of Glen and Bridge Streets.
This annual outdoor concert series, which is free to the public, is designed to use music as a promotional tool to boost the local economy.
The weekly concerts typically bring more than 1,000 people to the city’s streets, which increases patronage of local businesses including many area restaurants. The event has grown substantially since its debut in 1997 and the city now closes downtown streets due to the overflow crowds.
Bethpage Federal Credit Union returns as this year’s title sponsor and Garvies Point is a presenting sponsor. American Community Bank, North Shore-LIJ Glen Cove Hospital, North Coast Subaru, Kimco Realty, American Paving & Masonry Corp., The Downtown Cafe and The Glen Cove Printery are also among the concert’s supporters.
Media partner is The SUNY College at Old Westbury, OWWR Old Westbury Web Radio, (www.owwrny.org), and OWTV Old Westbury Television. Host Joe Manfredi will be streaming the concerts live on www.ustream.tv, keyword OWWRNY.
Free parking for Downtown Sounds is available at the nearby municipal garage. In the case of rain, the advertised acts will perform at the Wunsch Arts Center at Robert M. Finley Middle School on Forest Avenue.
For more information, call the Glen Cove BID at 516-759-6570, or visit www.glencovedowntown.org or www.downtownsoundslive.org.