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Gransden to bring big band jazz to town

Ready for a really big show featuring top-flight jazz musicians right in the heart of the Camellia City?

Then make plans to attend the latest offering by the Greenville Area Arts Council’s artistic season, as Joe Gransden and His Big Band roll into town Thursday, January 25 to perform downtown at the fabled Ritz Theater.

Gransden, a singer and storied trumpeter, is a New York native who now makes his home in Atlanta. The gifted musician will be bringing his 16-piece orchestra to delight music lovers of all ages, says GAAC director Nancy Idland.

“This is a show I have really been anticipating and I am sure it won’t disappoint a single audience member,” Idland says. “Joe and his band have performed at many top jazz clubs like New York City’s Blue Note, as well as larger venues including the fabulous Fox Theater in Atlanta. It’s going to be wonderful to have these great talents on the stage of our very own Ritz.”

Originally formed in 2009, the group has continued to build momentum and performs across the country, as well as in their home base of Atlanta, where they have regularly played at Cafe 290. Gransden has also performed with the Atlanta Symphony, the Reno Philharmonic, the Columbus Symphony, the Augusta Symphony and more.

The singer and band leader has earned accolades from many fellow musicians and celebrity music lovers.

Famed singer, pianist and author Michael Feinstein describes Gransden as having “a marvelous connection with the music he plays and sings,” adding, “[Gransden’s] innate understanding of interpreting classics is something you can’t learn; it’s natural.”

Jason Altieri, conductor of the Reno Philharmonic, said Gransden had the Reno audience “in the palm of his hands . . . his good humor and superb musicianship made our show . . . truly spectacular. What an entertainer!”

Actor-director and longtime jazz aficionado Clint Eastwood describes Gransden as “a young man with an old soul and a classic voice . . . a great new talent with a wonderful sense of humor to boot. And don’t forget, he plays one hell of a trumpet!”

And the legendary Smokey Robinson says Gransden’s singing and trumpet playing are “world class . . . throw in his 16-piece big band and you have something special!”

Show attendees are invited to come to the lavish pre-show party to enjoy hot and cold hors-d’oeuvres and libations starting at 6 p.m. in the lobby of First Realty of Greenville, right across the street from the Ritz. The curtain rises on Gransden and his Big Band at 7 p.m. next Thursday night.

Tickets will be available in advance at The Pineapple downtown and at the box office the night of the show. The cost is $20 for adults and $15 for students.

“Plan to come and join us for a fantastic night of live music right here in our hometown,” says Idland.