The Sarasota Jazz Project Orchestra, a popular 16-piece band formed in 2010, presents “Swinging at the Cinema,” featuring acclaimed vocalist Lisanne Lyons, at the William H. Wakeman III, Cultural Center Theater on Nov. 19, at 7 p.m. The event is the second monthly concert in a series of seven.
For this concert the SJP reminds audiences of the importance of music in the movies with a selection of “Best Song of the Year” Academy Award winners and nominees.
“We’ve chosen some famous and not-so-famous tunes for the concert,” said George McLain, SJP leader and saxophonist. “Besides the familiar tempos of these pieces, our audience can enjoy exciting jazz and swing versions, some of them augmented by two vocalists — Lisanne and myself — and a chance to compete in “Movie Music Trivia.” McLain expects an evening of fun and nostalgia.
Miami-based jazz vocalist and Sarasota High School graduate Lisanne Lyons is making a return engagement with the SJP. The recipient of two DownBeat awards, Lyons was a featured soloist with Air Force bands worldwide while serving active duty, including Air Force Academy Falconcaires. She has also performed nationally with Joel Grey, Woody Herman Orchestra, Maynard Ferguson Band, Arturo Sandoval, Larry Elgart, University of Miami Concert Jazz Band, Fort Worth Symphony, Harry James Orchestra, and many more. Lisanne is a recipient of 2 Down Beat awards. She currently serves as Director of Jazz Vocal Studies at Florida International University.
Songs for the concert include “Smile,” “As Time Goes By,” “What Are You Doing the Rest of Your Life?” and “I Remember You.” Lyons will sing rousing versions of “Cheek To Cheek” and “Old Devil Moon” and McLain will belt out the theme from “New York, New York.”
Reservations are recommended for the concerts, which all begin at 7 p.m. Admission is $17 for members of the Port Charlotte Cultural Center and $19 for nonmembers. Tickets are available by phone at 941-625-4175, online by clicking the buy tickets tab at www.theculturalcenter.com and at the door, 2280 Aaron St., Port Charlotte.
Over its 8-year history the Sarasota Jazz Project Orchestra has become known as the premier big band of the Gulf Coast. Its performers, some of the area’s best jazz musicians, perform classic and contemporary big band music in a concert setting. Members hail from counties up and down the Gulf Coast, from Largo to Fort Myers. The band has appeared with numerous jazz greats, played in significant venues, and performed countless concerts, often for the Charlotte County Jazz Society and the Jazz Club of Sarasota. The band will release its third CD, The Best of Friends, this month. To learn more about the Sarasota Jazz Project, visit its website at SarasotaJazzProject.org.