The wailing horns and crashing drums of the 1930s swing era will soon be brought to the San Luis Obispo area in an upcoming performance by Lizzy & the Triggermen, a 10-piece jazz and swing band.
“There’s something really viscerally thrilling about a big band,” lead singer Lizzy Shapiro said. “It’s something that is so uncommon in modern music and so I think what people will hopefully hear is just a really swinging, thrilling band that transports them to another place.”
Their upcoming performance is on Friday, May 20, at 7:30 p.m. in Forbes Hall, located at the Clark Center for the Performing Arts in Arroyo Grande.
With originals and covers of the 1930s top swing artists, including Duke Ellington, Irving Berlin, George Gershwin and more, Lizzy & the Triggermen’s performance will feature a few hours worth of 1930s swing music, two professional swing-dance partners and hopefully an audience ready to dance along.
“It’s really fun when we have the opportunity to have dancers be part of the show because having that movement is so integral to the music,” Shapiro said. “It helps bring it alive even more for the audience.”
Over the pandemic, the band performed a few times in outdoor venues and livestreams. They even released an EP, titled “Good Songs for Bad Times,” in 2020. Shapiro said the songs were written before the pandemic, but the messages behind some of them were coincidentally fitting for the time — hence the song titles “Good Songs for Bad Times” and “Dance Song (For the End of the World).”
Shapiro said it wasn’t a great time to release music due to the inability to perform, but it was also a time when people needed the music most.
“Really the job of the artist is to try to make art that reflects the times and resonates with people and sort of being the poet of the times that you’re in,” Shapiro said.
Their first show back from the pandemic was when they opened for Squeeze, an English rock band from the United Kingdom, in September 2021. Since then, they have performed multiple times on the west coast and other places in the US.
Tickets can be purchased on the Clark Center website. Prices range from $22 to $58. In honor of Armed Forces Day on May 21, those who have served or are serving in the US military can purchase up to four tickets for half price with presentation of their military ID.