Flat Iron Jazz gets set to swing

With this year’s long and cold winter finally starting to loosen its grip, Flat Iron Jazz is making ready to celebrate

With this year’s long and cold winter finally starting to loosen its grip, Flat Iron Jazz is making ready to celebrate the change of the season.

On April 12, Flat Iron Jazz will hold its annual Big Band Spring Swing Fling dinner and dance gala at the Lacombe Memorial Centre. The event is a fundraiser to raise money for the proposed C4 initiative.

Musical Director Gerald Ganson said the ball is a good way for people to get rid of cabin fever after being cooped up during the long winter.

“It just feels like a really long winter so it’s a chance to just get out and shake off some of those winter feelings.”

Ganson said he can’t recall the exact start of the annual tradition, but said it has been running for six or seven years.

He added that originally, it was held in February as a Valentine’s Day event and was known as the Sweetheart Gala.

It was moved to the spring because there were already quite a few events happening in February, said Ganson.

The Big Band Spring Swing Fling is a ball with a full course dinner and a “Nice long dance to follow.”

There are two main reasons Flat Iron Jazz organized the event. One, the band wanted to create an event that would allow them to perform together as such, said Ganson.

Two, it served as an opportunity to help support different groups and initiatives within Lacombe.

Beneficiaries of the Spring Swing Fling have changed a few times, but Ganson said that for the last few years the focus has been on raising funds for a performing arts centre in Lacombe. A desire to have such a facility within the City has more recently given birth to the C4 initiative.

“The current goal of building a performing arts centre definitely fits in with the goals of any musical group, they just kind of go hand in hand,” said Ganson. He went on to say that he had been living in another community when a performing arts centre had been built there and he saw a large positive outcome from that project in the community. Ganson added he imagines Lacombe would see similar gains should a similar facility be built here.

Flat Iron Jazz is a part of the Lacombe Lions Community Band Society. Ganson said it was formed when a number of the community band’s members wanted to get together to play jazz music.

The band has between 15 and 19 members at any given time. Ganson said Flat Iron Jazz tries to aim for 17, the number traditionally associated with a big band.

It is also styled after the bands of Glenn Miller and Woody Herman.

Ganson said that the band plays music all the way from the eras where those bands were popular right up until modern day music.

“Our goal for the Swing Spring Fling and other dances that we play is to provide a real mix of danceable music.”

Tickets for the Big Band Spring Swing Fling are $60 each and are available from most band members. They are also for sale at Sunny 94 and Healing Hands Therapeutic Massage in Lacombe and Flowers For You in Ponoka.