Swingin’ Through the Century

Where could you find Bob Dylan, Motown hits, patriotic anthems, and musical comedians like Spike Jones all in one place? We’ll give you a hint… What machine sat in the corner of almost every diner and soda shop in America for most of the 20th century? You guessed it! The jukebox.

Now Sarasota’s favorite swing-era territory band, The Swingaroos, are back at FST to explore the history of this influential invention, along with some of its greatest hits, in their brand-new show: Jukebox Saturday Night.

The Swingaroos in FST’s 2019 presentation of Hollywood Serenade. Photo by Sarah Haley.

“One of the earliest jukebox machines started out as a big, clunky carnival attraction in the late 1800s, and over time, it developed into a sleek, showy mechanism with flashing lights,” said Kimberly Hawkey, bandleader of The Swingaroos and co-creator of the show. “The jukebox was a time capsule for the most popular songs of its day, so we decided to explore the evolution of pop music—from early jazz to Rock & Roll—through this important invention.”

From “Tennessee Waltz” and “Heart and Soul” to “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow,” Jukebox Saturday Night features over two dozen songs from the 1920s through the 1960s—all performed with the band’s signature jazz-infused style.

“You can expect our usual swing shenanigans, but instead of focusing on a specific musical genre or decade, as we have in previous shows, we’re covering the biggest hits of the entire century,” said Hawkey. “This show follows a timeline of danceable, sing-able music to lift our spirits and bring people together.”

Joining Hawkey onstage is Musical Director and show co-creator Assaf Gleizner, who was raised in Israel, but grew up on American music and culture. “The jukebox represented ‘America’ for me,” said Gleizner. “The music highlighted in Jukebox Saturday Night is definitely what I used to consider the core of American music through most of my youth.”

Assaf Gleizner. Photo by Leonardo Mascaro.

Bringing staples of the American soundtrack to life alongside Hawkey and Gleizner are Oliver Bonie (Saxophone/Clarinet/Vocals), Michael Brownell (Double Bass/Vocals), and Uri Zelig (Percussion). Bonie and Brownell are both making their FST debuts with Jukebox Saturday
Night
. Zelig has performed with The Swingaroos in their previous three shows at FST.

We invite you to join The Swingaroos as they perform almost a century of music—from longtime favorites to lesser known tracks. You might even discover a new favorite song or style!

“If you like pop, Rock & Roll, soul, Motown, folk, blues, or jazz…you will like this show,” said Hawkey. “There comes a point where genre fades away and all you’re left with is great music.”