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    Monday, March 27, 2023

    ECSO welcomes New London Big Band Saturday

    Sean Nelson’s New London Big Band (Vinnie Scarano)

    My philosophy is that I’m willing and happy to watch anyone do anything — as long as that person (or ensemble) is really good at what they do.

    This doubly resonates Saturday in the Garde Arts Center when the Eastern Connecticut Symphony Orchestra welcomes Sean Nelson’s New London Big Band to share the stage. The first half of the program will feature the ECSO music director Toshi Shimada leading his charges through Bernstein’s “On the Town: Three Dance Episodes,” Harbison’s “Remembering Gatsby (Foxtrot for Orchestra),” and Gershwin’s “The Man I Love.”

    After intermission, the NL Big Band joins the orchestra for a rollicking brand of traditional jazz. The arrangements and interplay between the two units should be amazing; it’s the second time for this pairing. A 2019 Garde concert was wildly successful and instantly suggested future collaborations. Because of COVID, this is the first time it’s been possible.

    Hopefully, this becomes a regular double bill.

    The Eastern Connecticut Symphony Orchestra with Sean Nelson’s Big Band, 7:30 Saturday, Garde Arts Center, 325 State St., New London; $12-$65; www.ectsymphony.com, (860) 444-7373.

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