January 25, 2022 – Celebrate the season of love by swinging your partner to classic jazz tunes of the 1920s and ’30s at the annual Valentine’s Day Swing Dance on Friday, Feb. 11, 2022, in the Lobby of the Jackson N. Sasser Fine Arts Hall at the Northwest Campus. The event begins at 6:30 p.m. with a lesson taught by members of the University of Florida’s swing dance group, followed at 7:30 p.m. by live music from the Santa Fe College Jazz Ensemble under the direction of Music Professor and Band Director David L. Smith. Light appetizers and non-alcoholic drinks will be available. Because of COVID-19 pandemic precautions, masks are strongly recommended and attendance will be limited this year.
Tickets will be available at the door only if capacity has not been reached, so advance ticket purchases are encouraged. Tickets are $10 per person and are available from the Fine Arts Hall Box Office at 352-395-4181 or online at showpass.com/valentines-day-swing-dance.
“Members of the Jazz Ensemble are working very hard and looking forward to this event after two years of not being able to play for people to dance,” Smith said. “The Valentine’s Swing Dance is a concert with audience participation and formal dress. It’s not limited to couples. Singles and groups of friends can have a lot of fun, too.”
This year’s Jazz Ensemble is a large group with about 21 musicians including a rhythm section, six saxophones, a clarinet, five trombones and four trumpets. The group will perform about 12 songs. Vocalists from the Santa Fe Singers under Lynn Sandefur’s direction will also perform.
“Of course, ‘My Funny Valentine’ will be the night’s theme song,” Smith explained. “We’ll also be performing ‘A Salute to Benny Goodman’ that will feature the Ensemble’s clarinetist on ‘Stompin’ at the Savoy.’ And we’ll have a vocalist performing Duke Ellington’s ‘Don’t Get Around Much Any More.’”
Benny Goodman (1909-1986) was an American jazz clarinetist and bandleader known as the “King of Swing.” Edward Kennedy “Duke” Ellington (1899-1974) was an American composer, pianist and leader of a jazz orchestra from 1923 until his death. “My Funny Valentine” is a jazz standard from the 1937 Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart musical, “Babes in Arms,” that became the signature song of American jazz trumpeter and vocalist Chet Baker.
The Valentine’s Day Swing Dance is organized and sponsored by the Santa Fe College Fine Arts and Entertainment Technology Department. For more information about tickets, call the Santa Fe College Fine Arts Hall Box Office at 352-395-4181. For more information about the Jazz Ensemble and the SF bands, call David Smith at 352-395-5313.