Junius Courtney Big Band with Denise Perrier
Friday, March 30, 2012, 8:00 pm (doors open at 7:00 pm)

the dance floor is open for the swingin'est band's 50th anniversary concert

$20.50 advance / $22.50 at door

Purchase tickets online
March 30 8:00 pm

Junius Courtney Big BandYou can bet that our dance floor will be open for business when the Junius Courtney Big Band kicks off its 50th anniversary season at the Freight! With the supremely stylish Denise Perrier providing vocals, the 19-piece aggregation invites dancers of all stripes to help launch the celebration in stomping' style. Those who prefer to swing in the comfort of their chairs are welcome, too, as the band raises the roof with unique arrangements redolent of Ellington, Basie, Thad Jones, and the Latin Tinge, plus plenty of their great signature originals.

This stellar big band, founded by New Orleans trumpeter, Junius Courtney, never fails to bring down the house with its powerhouse repertoire of merciless swing, blues, and gutsy improvisation. As jazz journalist Andy Gilbert states: "With a treasure trove of vivid, well-crafted arrangements and a veteran cast of players who know how to tell a rousing story in eight bars, the Junius Courtney Big Band is an invaluable Bay Area institution . . . [T]he band swings with power and concision, delivering its zesty charts with a confident swagger.”

Junius Courtney moved to Berkeley from New Orleans in 1945, trumpet in hand, and his music hasn't stopped swinging since. He started out fronting combos at society dances, then expanded to a big band in 1962. Courtney passed away in 2003, but his big-hearted, open-handed spirit lives on in the dynamic outfit led by his son, drummer Nat Courtney and under the musical direction of George "Jazzbeaux" Spencer, delivering its listeners into delirious realms of swing.

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