The Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra can often be found giving an impressive classical performance. At its upcoming “Valentine’s Swing” event, however, the BRSO will be performing big-band swing — and not just as a big band, but a big band with a string section.

"Duke Ellington said it best when he said, ‘There are only two kinds of music, good music and the other kind,’ ” said Timothy Muffitt, BRSO music director and conductor.

Trumpeter Brian Shaw, pianist Willis Delony and singer Phillip Manuel will join the BRSO on Thursday, Feb. 14, for "Valentine’s Swing." The performance, with dinner and dancing, will start at 7:30 p.m. at L’Auberge Hotel and Casino.

This particular big-band format will feature a combination of saxophones, trumpets, a rhythm section, trombones, strings and a vocalist. “Many of the great jazz composers wrote for this ensemble, when they could,” Muffitt said. “The core of the music will be from the big-band swing era. We are going to do some more modern things as well. It’s swing and beyond.”

Attendees may find it hard to resist the dance floor; the concert will take place in the ballroom at L’Auberge. Swing music is “music with an infectious energy to it,” Muffitt said. “Not just that it is all fast. Even the slow things have a remarkable feel for the listener.

“Much of what we have on this program have become classics in our time now," Muffitt added. "They’re part of the body of what we would call ‘great American music,’ and it’s music that will get your foot tapping and make you want to get up and move, even if you’re not necessarily a dancer.”

Local art and creations will also be for sale. BRSO is partnering with the Baton Rouge Arts Market and Mid City Makers market to provide a tabletop art exhibition where you can meet the artists who created the work being sold.

“This is a truly unique program," Muffitt said. "Many of the arrangements are being written for us, for this concert. We have two of our local superstars headlining. We have a singer joining us from New Orleans. Not only will this be a lot of fun but the music will be extraordinary.”


'Valentine’s Swing'

Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra

7:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 14

L’Auberge Hotel & Casino, 777 L’Auberge Ave.

$115-$165, includes dinner

(225) 383-0500; brso.org