CRYSTAL LAKE – Who’s ready to have a swingin’ good time?
On Thursday, Raue Center for the Arts in Crystal Lake presents Big Bad Voodoo Daddy. Originated in Ventura, California, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy celebrated their 25th year as a band whose mission is to revitalize jazz and swing music. They are not solely a swing band as many have classified them.
“I wouldn’t just classify us as a swing band,” said featured trumpet soloist Glen Marhevka. “We play different eras of jazz and swing. They say the swing era is typically the ’40s and music of that era. We don’t do the traditional 1940’s style music. We do a lot of original music and we cover a lot of music, and all jazz music swings. I just think we play jazz, swing and American music.”
The band began in 1993, making a name for themselves on the soundtrack for the film, “Swingers.” Their music also has appeared in “Despicable Me,” “Friends” and “Third Rock From the Sun.” They also have a Super Bowl halftime show performance, three presidential performances and 11 records in their repertoire. Popular hits include “Go Daddy-O,” “You and Me & the Bottle Makes 3” and “Mr. Pinstripe Suit.”
“This music has really stood the test of time,” Marhevka said. “It’s never going to go away. There have been times when it’s been the most popular music of the day. I don’t know if that will happen again, but there will always be a fan base and an appreciation for it. It’s uplifting; it has intricacies, and is a very cool and interesting style of music. In the late 90’s, for us, it was most popular style of music around. Will that happen again? I don’t know, but people will always love it. Our mission is to get out there and play this style of music so it doesn’t go away. It’s our obligation to get out there and play it and keep it alive.”
Marhevka has played the trumpet since he was 10 years old. Now 47, Marhevka said he had to convince his parents to take up the instrument.
“My dad was a sax player, so I didn’t want to play that,” Marhevka said. “I saw some students and teachers playing the trumpet at one of my sister’s school concerts and was just enamored by it. It took me a bit to convince my parents. They wanted me to play the clarinet because we had a bunch of them already around the house, but I won out in the end. The trumpet just kind of chose me.”
A crowd favorite, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy will grace the Raue stage for sixth time, their last being in 2015.
“If you have seen Big Bad Voodoo Daddy on ‘The Tonight Show’ or as they were recently on ABC7’s New Year’s Eve show, then you know what a treat it is to have a band of this renown on our stage at Raue,” said Tim Paul, Raue Center Board of Directors president. “They really do bring an energy to their concerts that everyone will enjoy and remember.”
Marhevka said the band looks forward to coming back to the Raue, for the staff, the fans and the experience.
“It’s a really cool theater for one,” Marhevka said. “It’s a beautiful theater. The town is super cool and the fans have been great when we play there. It’s just a really great situation. There’s no reason we wouldn’t want to play there. It’s really comfortable to play there. I’m sure all the artists that play there would say the same thing. We’re really excited to come back and play for a great crowd and work with a great staff. It’s always a pleasure.”
For ticket information, visit www.rauecenter.org or call the box office at 815-356-9212. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. The performance starts at 8 p.m.