The big band sound conjures up images of swing dancers, velvet-voiced crooners, swanky night clubs and classic cocktails.
"That's exactly what we're going for," said ORG member Cindy Robinson. "We were looking to create a fun night out with a retro theme. The Easy Street Big Band Dinner Dance will be as it was during the big band era- a fabulous dinner, cocktails, a great music and a night club atmosphere."
On Saturday, May 14 at 7:00PM, Buffalo's number one big band- The Easy Street Big Band will be playing at dinner dance party thrown by the Orleans Renaissance Group at The Pillars. Partiers will enjoy a sit-down dinner in club-like surroundings and music from Buffalo's award-winning Easy Street Big Band.
"I don't really know anyone who doesn't enjoy the sounds of a 1940's era big band," said Robinson. "There's a sense of nostalgia with it. Its simple, upbeat sounds takes people back to a simpler time. It just makes you feel good!"
Big Band music or more popularly the "Swing Era" flourished between 1935 and 1945. Glenn Miller, Tommy Dorsey and Woody Herman were household names and many bands inspired by the originals continue to play to this day. The Glenn Miller Orchestra remains one of the most popular and sought after big bands in the world. Today, artists like the Brian Setzer Orchestra and Harry Connick, Jr. keep that sound alive and well.
Wayne Blumrick of Middleport, NY, who recently took over as director of the Easy Street Big Band, said he is looking forward to playing at The Pillars.
"With the Titanic inspired architecture, the venue is the perfect setting for the big band. Not only does the band play standards from the great era of big bands, like In The Mood, String of Pearls, and Take the "A" Train, they have many newer charts they've pulled from contemporary swing bands."
Blumrick believes that the swing era really never died.
"Just listen to the music on television or soundtracks to numerous movies. Many TV adds and movies feature music from the this great era, or music inspired from it, in the background."
"Live music as well is alive and well," said Blumrick. "Take a look at the TV shows that feature live music. In the past we had Johnny Carson with the Tonight Show Band, David Letterman with Paul Schaffer. Today we have Jimmy Kimmel, Jimmy Fallon, Seth Meyers and Stephen Colbert continuing the tradition of featuring live music on the set. You can't beat a live performance- it creates a personal contact between listener and musician, and the dinner dance gig at The Pillars is going to be incredible!"
The proceeds for the dinner dance party will go toward supporting the Canal Village Farmer's Market on West Center Street in the heart of Historic Downtown Medina. "ORG launched a new farmers' market in downtown Medina last summer and it was wildly popular," said Robinson. "Over 500 people on average attended last year every Saturday morning."
While the market has been a boon for downtown Medina and the community, there are costs associated with running a growing market.
"Market manager Gail Miller has been working since last November to insure that this year's market will have more vendors and products and support is needed to help the market grow," said Robinson.
New at the market this year will be seating and tables so market-goers may sit, chat and enjoy market treats. Miller states the market will be much larger this year, with more vendors, products, demos, live music and more.
Held Saturdays June through October from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., the Farmer's Market is located at 127 West Center Street in the parking lot across from the Medina post office. You can learn more about The Easy Street Big Band by going onto their website, easystreetbigband.org. Look for the Canal Village Farmers' Market on Facebook or at bentshall.org/market.
Tickets for the Easy Street Big Band Dinner Dance are $40 for a single one and $70 for a pair, and less than 75 are available. Price includes sit-down dinner and music. They can be purchased online at bentshall.org/tickets, at (585) 210-9674 or at the English Rose Tea Shoppe at 527 Main St. in Medina.