Stefany Grossman and friend Janet Blasberg sipped chilled glasses of wine and leaned back in their foldout chairs on the grass of Binney Park on a balmy Wednesday night to enjoy the big band music of the Bob Button Orchestra.
"My husband is at home with a backache and he would have loved this," said listener Stefany Grossman. "We grew up with such great music."
"The wine helps too," said Janet Blasberg, who accompanied Grossman to the free concert sponsored by Silver Shield. "I was in a cab and New York City when she called and I didn't even have to think about it before I said I'd do it. This is great."
The 16-piece orchestra kicked off the Department of Parks and Recreation's Wednesday Night Concert series of the summer. The orchestra presented a program of big band and swing classics starting out with the unofficial Bob Button theme song, "The Way I Feel About You."
By the first notes of "In the Mood," the Glenn Miller standard, the crowd was dancing in their seats and tapping their toes to the beat. Featured vocalist, Gail Clear, a 20-plus year veteran with the band took center stage for covers of Irving Berlin's "How Deep is the Ocean" and "Blue Skies," as well as "I've Got You Under My Skin" by Cole Porter.
Sporting red, white and blue sequined vests, the Fabulous Bows, a group of female singers also appeared with the orchestra for the performance, blending their voices to songs such as Louis Prima's "Sing, Sing, Sing (With A Swing)."
The show was a winner for the audience. "We'll be at this same spot all summer long," said Grossman. "But, next time, we'll bring our husbands."
Next week's concert features Billy and the Showmen performing R&B at Roger Sherman Baldwin Park from 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.
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