FARMINGTON — Toward the start of World War II, Americans began to gather in dance halls. Jazz music filled the room, and people began to dance.
"In 1941, America saw itself getting drawn into world conflict," said Keith Cochrane, San Juan College band director. "And Americans looked for a way to forget troubles."
Dance and dance halls answered that desire.
At 7 p.m. on Friday, the San Juan College jazz band will be remember that era with a concert entitled "Jazz is for Dancin': A Tribute to the Swing Era."
The concert tries to evoke the feelings of that WWII era, Cochrane said.
Often, musicians in the World War II era played music from movies. This later became the basis of modern day jazz standards, Cochrane said.
The college jazz band will be accompanied by guest vocalist Mindy Smith, whose band, Suave, opened for the Kumbia Kings at the Sky Ute Casino in Ignacio, Colo. last week.
All the music that will be played Friday was also performed last weekend at a dinner dance at the Farmington Country Club. Tickets to that dance were $100 per couple, while tickets to the concert are only $8.
Some of the tunes include "Tuxedo Junction," which refers to a jazz and blues club in Birmingham, Ala. that was often know as Tuxedo Junction, and "Georgia on My Mind."
"The concert explores music that was written for dancing," Cochrane said.
Hannah Grover can be reached at email@example.com; 505-564-4652. Follow her on Twitter @hmgrover.