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The energetic and engaging singer and bandleader Graham Dalby led his London Swing Orchestra at the Sheldonian Theatre in Oxford this week.

There were more than twenty numbers performed by the small Orchestra, as memories of the greats of jazz were paraded across the floor of the Sheldonian – Duke Ellington, Scott Joplin, Benny Goodman and more. There was juggling of musical instruments, juggling of musical parts and nine musicians raised the roof like something triple the size.

Following along the timeline of toe tapping tunes – such as The Cotton Club Stomp; Swing, Swing, Swing; and How High the Moon – came the telling of the vibrant story of jazz, from both sides of the Atlantic, from the early 20th century to the 1950s.

For over 2½ hours the audience couldn’t resist moving to the beat and the opportunities for joining in kept coming – maybe even more than expected.

The entire concert was fun and it was full of life. It was rousing and it was reviving.

The London Swing Orchestra was joined by singer Lesley Anne Knight and all were surprisingly – yet marvellously – juxtaposed with the amazing musical improvisation act Peablossom Cabaret, giving the whole night a real showtime feel.

The concert was also supporting national foodbank charity The Trussell Trust.

See: The London Swing Orchestra

© Laura Claire H 2014

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