The Fitton Center for Creative Arts has a few events left as it closes out its current season of activities, which has been going on since August 2022.
First up is “CCJO Goes to the Movies,” a performance of the Cincinnati Contemporary Jazz Orchestra set for May 6.
“As an arranger, that recognizability gives me a lot of freedom to create something new,” said CCJO artistic director Eric Lechliter about the upcoming performance. “People already know the music, so they’re willing to go a different direction with it. We’re taking familiar music and stating it in a very different context.”
The Fitton Center said this includes different orchestrations, meaning a song that might be strings-forward on the silver screen gets played in a horn-centric way live — but also a complete reimagining of how the song gets played.
“‘The Godfather’ theme, for example,” Lechliter said. “In the movie it’s a lachrymose jazz waltz. Our arrangement, we’ve turned it into a 4/4, Count Basie-type swing number. We’re taking these songs and siphoning them through the lens of big-band jazz. It’s kind of changing the perception of what contemporary big-band music can be.”
The CCJO event kicks off at 7:30 p.m. and there will be an art-gallery opening celebrating the 51st Hamilton Current exhibition, a juried art competition. The gallery opening is at 5:30 p.m.
The 51st Hamilton Current exhibit will be open through July 7 and features the newest works from artists within a 60-mile radius of Hamilton. Two professional guest judges will select winners.
The final May event at the Fitton Center is a Murder Mystery Night. It will be in the ballroom at 7:30 p.m. May 20 and is described as a “Roaring ‘20s″ themed event. The storyline: A prohibition-era murder mystery, set in Kitty Malone’s Speakeasy, involves Chicago Mayor “Big Bill” Taylor — an advocate for prohibition — who is tracked down by enemies.
Various camps are going to happening at the Fitton Center throughout the summer.
The community arts center is located at 101 S. Monument Ave. in Hamilton. Tickets to the various events are available at fittoncenter.org.
The new season of events will be announced at the annual launch party, which this year is Aug. 18.