Happy Valley musician hopes to bounce back from COVID in big way
Nate Clarizio, a 21-year-old musician and Big Band-era enthusiast from Happy Valley, has a dream. He wants young and old, musicians, arrangers and swing dancers to interact and participate in reviving the enthusiasm and dynamics of the WWII era and its Big Bands.
"So many people don't realize the joy that the bands of the '30s and '40s brought to our country," Clarizio said. "Early radio days, and live bands like the Dorseys and Glenn Miller are long gone, but we can still enjoy the culture it helped create. My goal is to bring people together to be educated and entertained in classic music and dance to celebrate America's history."
Clarizio said his new organization is completing its nonprofit status and is looking for youth and adults alike who wish to participate in band instrumentation, singing, arranging and dance choreography where listenable musicianship will be showcased. He hopes that musicians will be able to bounce back in a big way after COVID-19 led to the cancellation of most gigs.
Called the Bobby Clair Orchestra, the group is recruiting. Clarizio and his trained core of musicians are willing to evaluate and provide experiential learning opportunities for new members.
"We ideally need a minimum of a dozen able band members to make this all happen, and with time we'll be able to transition into having a swing orchestra," he said.
Clarizio said he's excited and looking forward to working with the B-17 Alliance Foundation, which restored the B-17 bomber that had fallen in disrepair outside of the Bomber Restaurant near Milwaukie, on Southeast McLoughlin Boulevard in Oak Grove. The foundation moved the plane for restoration to a hanger in Salem.
"We can't wait to bring music to their hanger," Clarizio said. "They are a great example of what we're about, and are restoring a piece of WWII history that needs to be explored."
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