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Columbia State Welcomes Merchants of Cool

by Amber Dougherty | Mar 06, 2018

(COLUMBIA, Tenn. March 6, 2018) - - - Columbia State Community College is proud to present the area big band swing unit, The Merchants of Cool, in a concert of music new and old March 27 at 7 p.m. in the Cherry Theater.

“Columbia residents have an opportunity to come hear the swinging sounds of the mid-century,” said Dr. Stuart Lenig, professor of communications and drama. “The Merchants of Cool mine the retro-hipster trove of big band jazz classics for the sexiest arrangements of horn-based music available. The joint will be jumping with tons of scat cats lining the walls to this ageless powerhouse of big band stylings.”

The Merchants of Cool was formed in 2006 and revives the mid-century music of America’s swing golden age. Most of their performance includes big swing era music of the thirties and forties and adds tunes from the rock period of more recent songs and artists.

Some major artists that emerged from the swing era include Louis Armstrong, Benny Goodman, Duke Ellington, Count Basie and Glenn Miller. Jazz combos of the fifties and sixties, such as The Miles Davis, Thelonious Monk and Dave Brubeck ensembles derived from this fast-paced music.

The Merchants of Cool band are members of the nationwide American Big Band Preservation Society, a group that promotes the sound of mid-century music. The band knows over 250 tunes, and plays hits, classics, little known tunes and original arrangements. 

The event is free and open to the public, and is sponsored by the Columbia State Lyceum Committee. For more information on other Lyceum events, contact the Lyceum Committee by emailing or visit the Lyceum calendar on the Columbia State website at

The Cherry Theater is in the Waymon L. Hickman Building on the Columbia Campus, located at 1665 Hampshire Pike. For more information, contact Erin Kealey at 931-540-2760. Come early for a good seat.

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