Nearly 80 people braved the extremely cold weather Saturday night to hear Blue Swing and Jack Bunger perform at the Prairie Arts Center.
The concert was held in the second floor reception room of the renovated 1913 federal building. Audience members ranged from high school students to some of the organizers of the arts center.
Featuring Brandon Raby on lead guitar, Blue Swing opened with three gypsy jazz instrumentals, with Steve Barger on rhythm guitar and Ronnie Weigel on stand-up bass.
Then, vocalist Skylar Faith joined the combo, singing classic jazz and pop standards from through the years.
The 60-minute set featured soothing vocals and dazzling guitar leads on such songs as “After Your Gone” by Ella Fitzgerald, “Autumn Leaves” by Nat King Cole, “All of Me” by Frank Sinatra and “Night and Day” by Cole Porter.
Jack Bunger opened with an accomplished 30-minute set, demonstrating his prowess on electric guitar.
His songs included “I’m Losing You,” originally recorded by the Temptations. This arrangement was by Ritchie Kotzen. He also played “Electric Gypsy” by Andy Timmons and “Little Wing” by Jimi Hendrix, among others.
For most of Bunger’s set, he recorded the backing tracks in front of the audience, using an electronic loop pedal. The pedal records a chord progression and plays it back (loops it) through the song with the tap of a foot.
This was the first musical event co-produced by the Prairie Arts Center and the Bulletin. Organizers were pleased with the turnout. They are discussing more, to be held when the weather warms.