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“Summertime, and the living’ is easy.” So wrote George Gershwin in 1934’s Porgy and Bess. His song went on to become a jazz standard, and a warm summer evening is still ideal for kicking back and enjoying the classic big band jazz sounds of the Asheville Jazz Orchestra.

They’ll make their monthly visit to the White Horse Black Mountain at 8 p.m. on Friday, July 13.

The orchestra's music is a treat for ears and feet as they breathe fresh life into beloved standards and newer tunes alike. For those wishing to sharpen their dance floor moves, swing dance lessons will be offered at 7 p.m.

Founded in 2006, The Asheville Jazz Orchestra has evolved into Western North Carolina’s hardest swinging band. Under direction of trombonist/composer Dave Wilken, their mission is to preserve and advance America’s big band jazz tradition.

They play music from the canon of Swing Era greats like Duke Ellington, Count Basie and Benny Goodman but also make forays into more progressive works by Stan Kenton, Thad Jones and Gordon Goodwin. They also make a point of expanding the swing repertoire by programming freshly composed and arranged pieces, many by bandleader Wilken. 

The players in the orchestra are drawn from the ranks of the best jazz artists in the area, some of whom have spent time in latter-day incarnations of legendary big bands.

Tickets are available at whitehorseblackmountain.com for $15. 

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