Ronnie Meehan

If you are itching to boogie woogie the night away then Cal Poly’s Jazz Night on Saturday will give you the beats to do so.

The Blues and Boogie Big Band – also known as Cal Poly’s Jazz Band No. 1 – will be performing the blues and boogie woogie music of Louis Jordan and other R&B songs of the 1940s and 1950s.

The concert kicks off at 8 p.m. in Harman Hall at the Christopher Cohan Center. Paul Rinzler, director of jazz studies at Cal Poly, is excited about this year’s theme.

“Louis Jordan music is such great music,” he said. “It is really simple, which makes it very accessible. But it is also great to listen to and perform to.”

Jordan’s songs are known for their amusing lyrics and subject matter. Titles such as “You Dyed Your Hair Chartreuse” and “Ain’t Nobody Here but Us Chickens” are a few of Jordan’s comedic songs.

“He’s got a real strong sense of humor – yet the music has really strong jazz values,” Rinzler said.

Renowned San Luis Obispo jazz vocalist, Sunny Wright, will be featured on stage.

“Sunny Wright is a great jazz vocalist. She is singing the blues the way a jazz musician would. She is probably the most prominent jazz vocalist in SLO County,” Rinzler added.

Joining Wright on-stage will be four swing dancers who will show the audience how to dance to this upbeat music.

“It is really rare to have swing dancers on stage at a formal concert,” Rinzler said.

The University Jazz Band No. 2 will also be performing numerous pieces by Jordan on Saturday night. According to a press release, two Cal Poly combos “will showcase examples of bluesy and soulful jazz.”

The University Jazz Band No. 1 is professionally contracted to play at the Sacramento Jazz Jubilee, which is the largest jazz concert in the world. The band has also performed at the San Jose Jazz Society’s Sunday jazz series, a swing dance series in Santa Barbara, the Morro Bay Jazz Festival, the Jazz Jubilee in Pismo Beach and as an opening act for comedian Bob Newhart.

The Jazz Band plays a monthly concert during the regular school year. Using their vast repertoire, a unique musical theme is picked every month. Their repertoire includes: modern big band compositions, swing dance, world music, heavy-metal, TV themes and jazz for cartoons.

Tickets to the Jazz Night Concert are $6 to $15 and can be bought at the Performing Arts Ticket Office. To order by phone, call SLO-ARTS (756-2787); to order on online, visit

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