Big band music comes to "Thursdays on the Green"

| 28 Sep 2011 | 02:50

    SUSSEX COUNTY-The Kit McClure Band will be jazzing up "Thursdays on the Green," the Sussex County Community College concert series, on July 14, at 6:45 p.m. The performance by this all women band will take place on the College Green, rain or shine. The event is free and open to the public, which is invited to bring blankets or chairs. In 1982, Kit's vision of a band of women jazz musicians became a reality as the Kit McClure Band made its debut at the Ritz in New York City. The band quickly became a popular fixture in the New York nightclub scene, and also had the privilege of touring with the great Cab Calloway. It wasn't long before the band was noticed by the recording industry and was put on the payroll of Island Records to prepare a show with the late rock star Robert Palmer. This show toured two years later, playing sold out venues across the Northeast. Eight tours of Japan quickly ensued, with time out to produce the CD "Some Like It Hot" on Redhot Records. The band's second CD release, "Burning", also on Redhot Records, was produced in 1996 by jazz legend Teo Macero. The most recent project for the Kit McClure Band has been their effort to bring the music of The International Sweethearts of Rhythm back to audiences with the Sweethearts Tour. The International Sweethearts of Rhythm was an extraordinary, all-women big band of World War II era. It started out as the school band of the Piney Woods Country Life School near Jackson, Miss., in 1937. As the Sweethearts progressed, they became a popular touring band at venues like the Apollo Theater in New York, the Regal in Chicago, and the Howard in Washington, D.C. In the early 1940s, the band went professional. The Sweethearts Tour by the Kit McClure Band presents the original arrangements as performed by the International Sweethearts of Rhythm, as well as reinterpretations, transforming the Sweethearts' musical themes into fresh contemporary jazz, from swing to salsa, from rhythm and blues to hip-hop. There are two remaining "Thursdays on the Green" events scheduled: On July 21, The Sound Bytes will offer all-acoustic folk music. On July 28, the New Philharmonic of New Jersey Brass Quintet will perform. "Thursdays on the Green" is supported by sponsors that include: Lakeland Bank, James Alexander, and the Hampton and Newton Rotaries. All of the "Thursdays on the Green" performances are free, and the public is invited to attend. Each performance begins at 6:45 p.m. Refreshments are available for purchase, with proceeds from concession sales benefiting scholarships at the college. For further information, please call the cultural affairs hotline at 973-300-2116, or visit