That Songbook

If you are of a certain age, the “Great American Songbook” represents a golden era of song and music writing in this country. The artists who popularized this treasure trove of songs were or became big stars. Frank Sinatra was one of the biggest, and the Center For Successful Aging’s annual “Big Show” at the Marjorie Luke Theatre featured some of his best loved hits. A highly talented group of Santa Barbara musicians and singers had the packed crowd swooning and loving it in this sweet trip down memory lane. The afternoon was first and foremost a tribute to, and spirited performance by, the iconic Santa Barbara pianist and entertainer Gil Rosas. He performed medleys of his interpretations of many of the biggest “hits” of the venerated repertoire, throwing in some touches of classical to boot. A crack jazz band consisting of George Friedenthal (piano & vocal), Tom Buckner (sax & flute), Chris Judge (guitar), Randy Tico (bass) and Tom Lackner (drums), played some instrumentals, and also backed vocalists Luca Ellis, Kimberly Ford and Jackson Gillies. This kind of music has had “legs,” remaining vibrant and important, but one sometimes wonders if it and more recent musical genres will match the longevity of “classical” music and still be remembered and performed in the distant future. Kudos to Rod Lathim and all involved for a fine show!

Photo of pianist & entertainer Gil Rosas

Honoree Gil Rosas showing off his argyles at the Center For Successful Aging’s “Withe A Song In My Heart” 4/1/17 The Marjorie Luke Theatre