Franz Klaber Orchestra to bring big band sounds to Parrish

Hamilton-based Franz Klaber Orchestra will perform big band sounds at Parrish Auditorium on Saturday, February 3 at 7 p.m. CONTRIBUTED

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Hamilton-based Franz Klaber Orchestra will perform big band sounds at Parrish Auditorium on Saturday, February 3 at 7 p.m. CONTRIBUTED

The Franz Klaber Orchestra (The Klaberheads) will perform an evening of big-band music at Parrish Auditorium on Saturday, Feb. 3.

Erika Klaber, the group’s leader and business manager, said the group will showcase classic songs from hitmakers of the era, such as Glenn Miller, Benny Goodman and Duke Ellington — as well as several modern big-band tunes.

“This will be our fourth year doing this show, and each year, it gets bigger and bigger. In fact, the past two years have been sell-out crowds. People seem to be hungry for the chance to hear this music done in a live setting, and we are more than happy to oblige,” Klaber said.

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A few of the big band standards audiences can expect to hear include “It Don’t Mean a Thing (If It Ain’t Got that Swing),” and “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy.” Concertgoers can also expect to hear songs like Frank Sinatra’s “My Way.”

In addition to a string of big band standards, the group will also incorporate several of today’s artists like Michael Bublé, Queen and Chicago, who have taken popular songs and given them a big-band twist.

“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,” Klaber said.

Audio-visual effects will enhance the show. There will be multi-media that will display pictures of many of the band leaders, or segments that help to set up a song by sharing its history.

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“When my grandfather, Franz Klaber Sr., started the band in the 1930s, he always wanted to play the tunes from Germany, but he also wanted to play what was popular of the day. I think we’re still doing that. What I think about this big-band music, specifically, is that it is so rich, historically, and it conjures up so many memories of grandparents, or of an iconic time in history. … It’s one of my goals as the leader of the band to get this music out, and to get it heard again. I’m excited about being able to perform this music.”

As a fourth-generation family group, many of Klaber’s family members will join her on stage – her father, mother, husband, daughter and nephew. The band will also be rounded out with five saxophones, four trombones, four trumpets, a full rhythm section and vocalists. Typically, the Klaberheads are a 12-piece group.

“I’m also excited to play with my college mentor, Dr. Chris Tanner, who will sit in on drums for this concert. That’s a treat for me, I get to play with my college teacher,” Klaber said.

Klaber, a Fairfield resident, said the band performs about 50 concert dates a year. The group is currently working on a live, Oktoberfest project, which will release in August. The band continues to play at many popular Oktoberfest celebrations each year. In 2018, they will return to Minister, Ohio’s Oktoberfest on Oct. 6-7 as well as Nashville’s Oktoberfest on Oct. 11-14. The group is also expanding their presence and booking a lot of new gigs, including shows in Indiana.


What: Franz Klaber Orchestra (The Klaberheads) in concert for a night of big band

When: Saturday, Feb. 3, 7 p.m.

Where: Parrish Auditorium at Miami University Hamilton, 1601 University Blvd.

Admission: $15 in advance, $20 at the door. Tickets are reserved seating. Tickets can be purchased online at, or by calling (513) 218-6017. If available, tickets will also be available at the door.

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