Don't forget your dancing shoes when you begin the Gallery Walk on Dec. 5. Not only have the local merchants and galleries planned a very special evening for the community, but there also will be a "big band" to top off the night.
The Thunder Mountain Big Band, led by trumpeter Ron Maas, will perform from 8 to 10 p.m. at the Juneau Arts & Culture Center. The Band is composed of 18 musicians, including clarinet, sax, trumpet, trombone, percussion, string bass and piano. The group plays a wide range of favorites - swing, jazz, Latin and waltzes. Vicki Van Fleet is the featured vocalist. The band has been together for at least 10 years and followed the Mel Flood Big Band.
Leader Ron Maas, who hails from Wisconsin, says he grew up with big bands, and played in the Air Force Band in Washington, D.C. After military service, he joined the Clyde Lee Big Band and other bands that traveled from town to town in 'midnight buses.' Maas then led a quintet, and decided to drive up to Alaska with the quintet, strapping the string bass to the top of a Cadillac. They arrived in Alaska in 1960, just after Statehood.
Capital City Celebrations will co-sponsor this musical event with the Juneau Arts & Humanities Council as part of the Alaska 50th Statehood festivities.
Admission for the performance will be $10 for adults, and $5 for student and seniors. Those under 21 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Tickets will be available at the door or at www.jahc.org. Capital City Celebrations will also be selling 50th Statehood medallions, posters, pins, and wine glasses just in time for the holidays.