Hot House West, a group of seven jazz musicians, will provide 90 minutes of gypsy swing and other jazz sounds Friday night at the Old Grantsville Church.
“We started back in 2010 and met during our first semester at the U of U in Jazz Improv I,” said Nathan Royal, band leader, lead guitarist and vocalist. “We all had a passion for jazz and the gypsy swing music of Django Reinhardt.”
Royal said Reinhardt was a Belgian-born French jazz guitarist, regarded as one of the greatest musicians of the 20th century.
“We also will do some music in a similar vein of Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington and Count Basie, plus some of our original music,” Royal said.
Other members of the ensemble include James Martak, guitar; Kevin Shultz, upright bass; Jesse Maw, violin; Jory Woodis, clarinet; Dan Jones, trumpet; and Jos Chisholm, trombone.
The concert is the second collaborative effort of Excellence in the Community and the Grantsville Performing Arts Council.
Excellence in the Community is a non-profit group established in 2005 on the premise that Utah’s best musicians and dancers represent a powerful resource for enhancing communities.
“Many people underestimate the talent of musicians in Utah,” said Jeff Whiteley of Excellence in the Community. “They say that if they’re not on television, how good can they be? Utah has a long-standing excellence in the arts. We’re trying to provide high quality music throughout the state and do what Cedar City has done in providing high quality theatre. We want to provide quality in the arts for community economic and social development.”
Michael Palmer, administrative director for GPAC, said Grantsville is incredibly lucky to have Hot House West at the Old Grantsville Church this Friday.
Last September, Timpanogos Big Band was scheduled to perform at the Grantsville Park on Cherry Street, but 50 mph winds moved the show to the Old Grantsville Church.
“Our friends from Excellence in the Community really fell in love with the venue (Old Grantsville Church) so we decided to plan a concert around the church, and we were lucky enough to book Hot House West,” Palmer said.
Old Grantsville Church owner Macae Wanberg said she was impressed with the Timpanogas Big Band.
“They were definitely the biggest sound and the most accomplished instrumental group we’ve ever had in the building,” Wanberg said. “I’m really looking forward to Hot House West this Friday, and I’m intrigued to find out what their music will be like.”
Royal said his group has performed 800-1,000 times over the past eight years.
“I’ve never had to have a day job. We do a lot of different gigs at weddings, corporate events, bars, old churches and bigger concerts,” Royal said.
Whiteley said Hot House West will deliver the goods.
“It’s a professional performance from start to finish. The arrangements are sophisticated and accessible, the grooves infectious, and every player in the band gets a chance to shine,” Whiteley said.
Admission is free, and the concert starts at 7:30 p.m. with doors open 7 p.m.
Old Grantsville Church is located at 297 W. Clark St. in Grantsville.