Klaber Orchestra to make Fairfield Arts Center debut

Concert features big-band tunes.

Contact this contributing writer at gmwriteon@aol.com.

The Franz Klaber Orchestra Big Band (The Klaberheads) will perform an evening of big-band sounds at the Fairfield Community Arts Center on Saturday, Jan. 28. The concert is sold out.

Erika Klaber, the group’s leader and business manager, said the group will showcase many of the songs that are best known to the genre, including Glenn Miller’s “In the Mood” and several other big-band standards such as “It Don’t Mean a Thing (If It Ain’t Got that Swing)” and “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy.” Fans can also expect to hear classics such as Frank Sinatra’s “New York, New York.”

Klaber’s grandfather, Franz Klaber Sr. founded the band in the 1930s. As a multigenerational family group, many of Klaber’s family members continue to join her on stage — her father, mother, husband and daughter. About 16 to 17 band members will take the stage in Fairfield.

She said the group will highlight the evolution of big-band music. In addition to a string of standards, the concert will incorporate some of today’s artists, such as Michael Bublé, who have put a fresh spin on the big-band classics.

“Audiences can expect to hear music from the big-band era, going back to the late 1930s and 1940s all the way up through the 1960s, featuring many of the early band leaders. This is going to be a great way to hear this music done live, which you don’t get that opportunity much anymore,” Klaber said.

Klaber, a Fairfield resident, said this is the first time FKO Big Band will bring their big-band show to the Fairfield Community Arts Center. Typically, the band performs about 40 concert dates a year.

“I’m really excited about it. Number one, because I live in Fairfield, so it’s super convenient, and I love working with the Fairfield Community Arts Center. We participate in their ‘Groovin’ on the Green’ series every year, and they are fantastic to work with. And, the venue provides a great, intimate setting, so I’m really looking forward to playing the stage there,” Klaber said.

I don’t know of any other big bands in Butler County that are putting on a dedicated concert of big-band classics during this time of year, she said.

“I know there are a lot of big-band fans in the area,” Klaber said, “Even baby boomers can recall their grandparents listening to the music. It has this kind of nostalgia tied to it. I’m not quite a baby boomer, but I remember my grandparents listening to the music, and I recall watching movies with the dancers.”

Big band is a part of the American Songbook. The concert will also give younger audiences exposure to the music.

“Both of my grandparents were in the Navy during World War II, so I can’t help but think of them and that time in American history. The music itself is infectiously fun to play,” Klaber said.

About the Author