Timucua Arts Foundation is a non-profit organization supporting the arts and live music in Orlando, Florida and home of the premiere performance of Vivacity’s Nostalgia Radio Hour. Vivacity performs frequently at the concert venue built by former Cirque du Soleil’s La Nouba music director Benoit Glazer and his wife Elaine Corriveau in their own home. They host musicians and artists of all genres, including jazz and swing bands. The Timucua Foundation graciously transforms the concert hall into a party atmosphere with a dance floor to host our Roaring 20s Great Gatsby and swing dance events!
Blue Bamboo is a concert venue in Winter Park, Florida presenting live music almost every night of the week and supporting local musicians. It is an intimate space with great acoustics. The jazz community is very grateful to Melody and Chris Cortez for providing a venue for performers to present music to an always appreciative and supportive audience.
Heather Thorn is an endorsing artist with the Malletech Company. When she’s with her bigger band, she performs on the XB 4.0 Malletech xylophone, designed by her xylophone teacher Bob Becker. The instrument is modeled after the Deagan Artist Special xylophones of the 1920s and early 20th century.
Orlando Jazz Orchestra many members of the Orlando Jazz Orchestra also perform with the Vivacity Jazz and Swing Band. OJO features some of the best musicians in Orlando performing musical hits of the big band era and beyond. Their repertoire includes everything from Duke Ellington and Count Basie to the Glenn Miller Orchestra.
NEXUS Percussion is an internationally acclaimed ensemble whose career spans over 40 years of touring. The group played a huge part In the revival of xylophone (the original dance band instrument) ragtime and jazz music, featuring one of Heather’s primary mallet instructors xylophone virtuoso Bob Becker. Heather also worked with NEXUS member Bill Cahn to digitally archive and catalogue his collection of almost 1500 78 RPM records of xylophone music from 1898-1929. The project was completed in 2015. Heather stage show character “Fluffy Ruffles” was inspired by one of these records that was transcribed by Bill for NEXUS- a George Hamilton Green original called Fluffy Ruffles.
Gordon Stout is a friend and colleague and was Heather’s percussion professor at the Ithaca College School of Music. He has written countless critically-acclaimed works for marimba and percussion and is an extraordinary performer and educator. He also played an important part in the 1970s revival of ragtime and hot jazz xylophone music from the 1920s. Heather was a member of Gordon Stout’s Marimba Band, performing arrangements from the Eastman Marimba Band and Bob Becker and Bill Cahn. Gordon inspired Heather to follow her dreams of pursuing a career in music performance and theatre and allowed her to make the xylophone her main instrument of study and to start her own band featuring jazz, ragtime and swing xylophone.
Jukebox Saturday Night celebrates America’s Swing Era performing the greatest hits as recorded by Tommy and Jimmy Dorsey, Glenn Miller, Duke Ellington, Jimmy Lunceford, Harry James, Artie Shaw, Cab Calloway, Benny Goodman, Bunny Berigan, Count Basie, and more! Vocal seslections will include songs made famous by Frank Sinatra, Doris Day, Bob Eberly, Rosemary Clooney, and other vocal idols.
Escape Ten features the extraordinary percussionists Dr. Annie Stevens and Dr. Andrea Venet- friends and colleagues who have featured Heather, of the Vivacity Jazz Band in Orlando, as a xylophone soloist with their duo. Heather premiered her arrangement of Sweethearts Medley, featuring 1920s tunes Baby Face, Let Me Call You Sweetheart and Five Foot Two, with the Virginia Tech marimba ensemble under the direction of Dr. Stevens. Heather gives clinics and master classes for the students of Dr. Venet at the University of North Florida.
Escape Ten, a percussion duo, performs a varied and exciting spectrum of music including contemporary, pop, jazz, and classical selections. Repertoire includes their own innovative arrangements, as well as numerous arrangements and compositions written exclusively for the duo. Recent performances include an invitation to the Percussive Arts Society International Convention where they performed for a standing-room-only audience, the Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia, and Atlanta’s Spivey Hall.