Arts and Entertainment

FW Symphony Swing Concert returns Jan. 27

Todd Zimberg will perform at the swing concert Jan. 27. - Courtesy photo
Todd Zimberg will perform at the swing concert Jan. 27.
— image credit: Courtesy photo

Most of us have heard the spell-binding words of “there is no business like show business” and boy we have this dazzling blitz of music coming to Federal Way and Puget Sound audiences when the Federal Way Symphony presents its annual Swing Concert on Sunday, Jan. 27.

Todd Zimberg and Lonnie Mardis are the dynamic duo and architects of this nostalgic package of music that has people waiting a year to hear some of their favorite swing standards. As a symbol of consistency every year, pianist and songstress Maggie Laird will sing with her smooth and velvety voice the stunning songs of “Indeed I Do” and “Black Coffee.”

The Swing Band goes back 10 years ago when Zimberg approached Maestro Brian Davenport with the idea that his group, the Island Jazz Quintet, play a show with the orchestra. It has evolved into a slam dunk with past featured guest soloists who are now members of the band that provides finger snapping and trendy music styles of the past.

During the 1920s, '30s and early '40s, there were numerous dance halls in the Federal Way area. It goes to say that “there was still no business like show business” way back then.

This concert is adamant in the Federal Way Symphony’s conviction to provide diverse and appealing musical selections within its yearly season.

The lineup of songs explode with a surge of electricity and bravado that is streamlined to the different swing favorites of the audience.

One of people’s favorites on the menu is “Tuxedo Junction.” Glenn Miller and his orchestra had the most successful recording of the song. They sold 150,000 copies in the very first week.

In 1939, Miller did an arrangement that slowed down the tempo and added trumpet fanfares. “Tuxedo Junction” was covered by numerous bands and solo artists such as Ella Fitzgerald, Duke Ellington, Frankie Avalon and Joe Jackson. It also became the theme song for the Manhattan Transfer.

Originally written as an instrumental, Erskine Hawking provided lyrics that was used in various movies including “The Glenn Miller Story,” “The Gene Krupa Story” and Woody Allen’s “The Curse of the Jade Scorpion.”

The music in this concert is not just a textbook swing band conviction. They have a way of interacting that is unique with their package of songs including “Moten Swing,” ”Sunnyside of the Street,” “Peasants Lullaby,” ”Jitterbug Waltz? Ain’t Misbehavin’ Mash Up," etc.

This Federal Way Swing Band Concert proves that “there is no business like show business” as they focus on intensity and passion for their music.

Check it out

The show begins at 2 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 27, at St.Luke's Church, 515 S. 312 St. Tickets are $31 with discounts for seniors, groups and military. Students ages 18 and younger admitted free. Visit or call (253) 529-9857.


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