By Madison Fisler Lewis
Feb. 10, 2015. If you would like your Valentine’s Day to be a bit more musical than most, you’re in luck. On Friday, Feb. 13, you can treat yourself and your sweetheart to the jazz stylings of Todd Wright and Friends at Appalachian State University.
The annual concert will be held at Rosen Concert Hall starting at 8 p.m. Admission to the concert is free of charge. For more than 20 years, this concert has been punctuating the Valentine’s Day holiday with some hot jazz music to warm up listeners in the middle of winter.
“Some of the performers are fellow ASU professors and some are not,” Wright said. “We have a few guests coming in. Rick Simerly is a wonderful trombonist who has played with a lot of people like Frank Sinatra, Jr. and Bob Hope and a lot of other big bands. Our other guest, Fred Goodwin, has played with a lot of notable bands as well.”
The program will feature Flying Down to Rio (Vincent Youmans), This I Dig of You (Hank Mobley), My Funny Valentine (Richard Rodgers), A Beautiful Friendship (Donal Kahn), Falling in Love with Love (Richard Rodgers), Estate (Bruno Martino), An Affair to Remember (Harry Warren), My Foolish Heart (Victor Young), If I Should Lose You (Ralph Rainger) and I Can’t Give You Anything But Love (Jimmy McHugh).
“I think jazz is good music for any holiday,” Wright said.
“We will play a lot of tunes that we like to call American songbook tunes, popular music from the 30s, 40s, 50s and 60s. We call them American songbook tunes because they are the tunes that important composers did for Broadway music, and jazz musicians would take them and jazz them up any way that they could. Then they became part of the repertoire for jazz musicians.”
Though last year’s event had to be rescheduled due to weather, this year, Wright hopes that the weather holds up so that the concert can take place on schedule.
“The room is full most years when the weather cooperates,” he said. “Last year we had to cancel because of a snowstorm and one of our guests could not get here. We are looking forward to having it back on track this year. Let us warm you up from the cold temperatures with some hot jazz music for Valentine’s!”