Western Colorado musicians are gearing up and getting ready to perform for you. Yet another regional Big Band has rebooted following a year-long hiatus, and they're anxious to play.

I mentioned last week the Western Colorado Jazz Orchestra, a Grand Junction-based 16-piece Big Band was back in action after almost a full year without performing together. As of yesterday, March 18, word went out another Big Band, a 13-piece group would commence with rehearsals and bookings.

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Who can you look forward to seeing in concert?

Clark Gault's Swing City Express is back in rehearsal, and before long, will be in front of audiences in Western Colorado. With 13 members in the band, they were forced to shut down when the quarantine went into effect.

Who are the Swing City Express?

The Swing City Express, a 13-piece, sometimes 14-piece band (when they add vocalist Leah Rachelle) performs regularly around Western Colorado for dances, concerts, and social events.

Performances on the horizon.

The Swing City Express will resume rehearsals starting next week. A number of concerts have been "penciled in." Unfortunately, it's still unknown how those futures shows will unfold.

Keeping busy during the downtime.

During the shutdown, the group's bandleader, Clark Gault, celebrated his 80th birthday. Since a "party" was out of the question, the members of the band gathered in a socially distant way and performed a drive-by rendition of Happy Birthday for Clark at his residence.

In the meantime, here's another way you can hear the band

Not long ago, the group released the album "Jazz for Contemplation." The album features 13 tracks including The Opener, I've Got Plenty of Nothing, Nobody Does it Better, Besame Mucho, and When the Lights are Low. It was recorded by Greg Karly, with vocal and solo mastering done by Gary Smith at Gary R. Smith Productions in Grand Junction.

Where might you see them in the future (COVID permitting)?

The Swing City Express has been something of a fixture at area dances. You'll typically see them at holiday events or fundraisers. On occasion, the band performs at Warehouse 25Sixty-Five Kitchen + Bar.

Is this a big deal?

I think so. The Swing City Express puts on an amazing show. You'll typically find them at truly first-rate events around the valley. Add to that the fact they're all working musicians, many are union members, and all contribute to the revenue of the community. Having them back in action is a very good thing.

Be on the lookout for the Swing City Express. With any luck, most summer events will return, and with them, live music. Keep your ears open for opportunities to hear this local Big Band.

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