5th annual Valentine's concert slated

Ramsey big band show to feature NPHS alumnus

Elmer Ramsey and the Conejo Pops Orchestra will perform music from great artists of the big band era, including Artie Shaw, Harry James and Benny Goodman.

Photo: Brian Stethem

(THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. – Jan. 27, 2014) Elmer Ramsey’s fifth annual concert of big band music and love songs celebrating Valentine’s Day will be held at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 15, at California Lutheran University.

“Elmer Ramsey, His Trumpet and Orchestra” will be presented in Samuelson Chapel. Ramsey and the Conejo Pops Orchestra will perform music from great artists of the big band era, including Artie Shaw, Harry James, Benny Goodman, Glenn Miller, Tommy Dorsey and Count Basie. Dynamic vocalist duo Nancy Osborne and Ned Rifken will sing with the orchestra.

Jazz trumpeter Jonathan Dane of Moorpark will perform one of his own arrangements. Dane got to know Ramsey when Dane was attending Newbury Park High School and he has performed at Ramsey’s concerts for years, but this is his first featured performance. Well-known in the Los Angeles jazz world, he recently was a featured soloist with the Stan Kenton Reunion Band at the Los Angeles Jazz Institute Big Band Festival and is a featured soloist on Bill Holman’s Grammy award-nominated CD “Homage.” He has recorded five CDs with recording artist Luis Munoz and a personal CD titled “Very Life” that features mostly original compositions.

Osborne, a Westlake Village resident, has been featured with such big bands as the Nelson Riddle Orchestra, Tex Beneke, Ray Anthony and Johnny Vana’s Big Band Alumni. In addition to performing in films and on stage and television, Osborne produced her own 17-piece big band CD, “Hot Swing, Cool Jazz.”

Rifken has headlined more than 600 shows as the “Ambassador of Swing” for several cruise lines. On land, he performs with Ned Rifken and the Hipmunks, a classic jazz quartet made up of top musicians from the Los Angeles area. As part-time singing partners, he and Osborne star in their original show, “Swingin’ Vegas is Back!”

Daniel Geeting, a member of the CLU music faculty, will be featured on clarinet.

Ramsey, a CLU professor emeritus of music, began playing trumpet professionally at the age of 14 and three years later had his own ‘40s-style big band on a Washington radio station. He made West Coast tours with Mel Tormé and other popular singers. During his 27-year tenure at CLU, he helped found and served as artistic director of the Oakleaf Music Festival and served as music director and conductor of the Conejo Symphony Orchestra. Ramsey has been music director of the Conejo Pops Orchestra for more than 30 years. Many members of the orchestra are CLU alumni and have also performed with Harry James, Glenn Miller and Tex Beneke orchestras.

Admission is $20 for adults and $10 for students. The chapel is located at 165 Chapel Lane on the Thousand Oaks campus. For more information, call the Music Department at 805-493-3306 or visit http://www.callutheran.edu/music.