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Cal Poly Collegians Alumni Big Band to Play at Madonna Inn Aug. 27

'Almost-Golden' Reunion to Feature 20 Alumni Musicians

The Cal Poly Collegians Alumni Big Band will celebrate its “almost golden” 49-year reunion with a performance from 7:30 to 10:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 27, in the Madonna Inn Ballroom in San Luis Obispo.

The ensemble of 20 musicians will recreate the swinging sounds of Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Benny Goodman, Glenn Miller, Les Brown and other big bands of the 1940s through the ’60s. “Fans of big band jazz and swing — listeners and dancers alike — are going to love it,” said Bob Alberti, a local trombonist in the alumni band.

Cal Poly music major and bassist Troy Hanson — a winner of the 2015-16 Cal Poly Collegians’ Jazz Scholarship — will join in the performance.

The Collegians — predecessor to today's acclaimed Cal Poly University Jazz Bands — was founded in 1937 by then Music Department Head Harold P. Davidson.
The alumni band members are Cal Poly graduates from the late ’40s to the early ’60s who travel to San Luis Obispo for the reunion concert from throughout California, Arizona, Oregon, Massachusetts and Québec, Canada.

The alumni band has performed at a variety of local venues on the Central Coast over the years. The Madonna Inn Ballroom has been the site of the band’s homecoming since 1999, following a personal invitation from the late Alex Madonna.

Admission to the performance is free; voluntary contributions to Cal Poly’s Collegians Jazz Scholarship are welcome.

The Cal Poly Collegians draw a full house every year, and seating is guaranteed only for those who make a reservation and dine in the Steak House. Non-diners who wish to dance or listen are accommodated on a first-come basis. To make dinner reservations at the Madonna Inn Steak House, call 805-543-3000. For more information about the Madonna Inn and the Steak House, visit madonnainn.com.

For more information about the performance, email Alberti or call Cal Poly’s Music Department at 805-756-2406.

For more information about the Cal Poly Collegians Alumni Big Band, including historic photos, visit the group’s website.