SPECIAL PRE-VALENTINE’S DAY SHOW BRINGS THE SWING TO DOWNTOWN NASHVILLE
Since its launch in 2009, Music City Roots has hosted all manner of American music from country to rock and blues to gospel. Now the weekly radio show and live performance is adding classic big band swing to its roots roster with a special pre-Valentine’s Day Big Band show at the War Memorial Auditorium in downtown Nashville on Saturday, Feb. 11.
Music City Roots’ executive producer John Walker says that a show spotlighting the legacy and sound of big band swing is longtime personal dream.
“As a child, even before there were my beloved Beatles singles, I had my parents’ 45 rpm Big Band singles as my earliest musical diet. Miller, Dorsey, Ellington … my first concert was Count Basie. While it’s not ‘Americana’ by definition, it is a wonderful part of the ‘roots’ of American popular music history. It’s important to stoke this flame in our culture. In my opinion, this music was one of the strongest forces leading us toward better racial understanding. My hope is to find yet another point of unification between generations as younger music fans discover the sheer analog power and rich harmonic texture that only a large ensemble can provide. I thought the best way to do that would be to feature iconic artists in our ‘Roots’ community that you wouldn’t normally hear in this context.”
The Music City Roots pre-Valentine’s Day Big Band show will feature Darrell Scott, John Cowan, Elizabeth Cook and The McCrary Sisters, hosted by Jim Lauderdale and Peter Cooper, with the 20-piece Nashville Jazz Orchestra providing the backing for the evening’s performances. The show will feature custom big-band arrangements of original songs alongside choice selections from the classic American songbook.
This special edition of Music City Roots will be held in the historic War Memorial Auditorium. Completed and dedicated in 1925, the same year that WSM radio went on the air, the War Memorial Auditorium hosted swing concerts during the Golden Age of big bands and was home to the Grand Ole Opry from 1939 to 1943.