REXBURG — A California high school jazz band plans to entertain at Porter Park this week.
The Fabulous Studio Band will perform from 4 to 6 p.m., Wednesday, at the Beehive Pavilion. The event is free and open to the public. The band will play songs from the 1940’s Big Band Era to 1970’s jazz pieces.
The band hails from Porterville, California. Made up of 21 student musicians, the group recently entertained in Soda Springs and Provo, Utah, and is currently headed to Rexburg. Following Wednesday’s concert, the band plans to head to Yellowstone National Park, reported its leader Clark Keele.
“They’re really great kids. I took them on a tour of the BYU campus and have been showing them around Salt Lake City. We saw the Great Salt Lake. We’re going through Logan to do a little hiking. We’re having a really fun time,” he said.
The Fabulous Studio Band is known for its traveling, and, since its creation in the 1950’s, its musicians have toured everywhere from Japan to the White House to Disneyland.
“Every other year, the jazz band goes on a tour. This year, we’re coming through Utah and Idaho,” Keele said.
Having the opportunity to entertain all over the country is a great way to expose youth to various possibilities, he said.
“We have a really long tradition of some excellent music. We’re continuing that tradition where these students have a chance to go out, perform and see a little bit of the country,” he said.
Traveling gives young musicians a feel of what it’s like to entertain, Keele said.
“It would be great if they would go on and study music. I want them to understand the value of the arts, how that contributes to a full life and how that contributes to the community,” he said.
Yet, it’s perfectly OK if Keele’s musicians opt to work in other professions, Keele said.
“A lot of these kids go on and do amazing things in other fields. They join the military, study science and some study English. There’s a lot of really great things these kids are going to do,” he said.
Keele has family members living here, and, after Rexburg Chamber of Commerce President Christopher Mann learned the band planned to travel through Rexburg, he asked them to stop and entertain.
“When they said they were coming up this way, we said, ‘Well, could you stop and perform for us in Rexburg?’ and they said ‘Yes.’ We saw the Beehive Pavilion as a fun place to perform. We’re excited for them,” Mann said.
The band will be part of the weekly Wednesday performances scheduled for the summer.
Mann invited residents to attend Wednesday’s concert.
“Bring you blankets and chairs and support the band. There’s no charge, just good entertainment,” he said.
For more information on the upcoming concert or on the weekly concerts, call the city at 208-359-3020 or the chamber at 208-356-5700.