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High Desert Museum 

Open 'til Dark Dance

COCC's Big Band Jazz gets its groove on.

COCC's Big Band Jazz gets its groove on.

Open 'til Dark is a 1930s dance at the High Desert Museum with a live jazz band, dance lessons and tastings from Oregon Spirits Distillers. It's a rare way to pass a Friday evening, with admission just $7 ($3 for members), and a chance to dance and explore the museum and its latest exhibits after hours.

"The Big Band Jazz will be live and loud throughout the museum where the theme of the 1930s will be felt from tipis to tortoises," says Erica Pelley, associate curator of education for the museum. The Open 'til Dark dance shares a 1930s theme with the new exhibit, "Art for a Nation: Inspiration from the Great Depression," featuring the Portland Art Museum's Depression-era art collection as well as contemporary art commissioned by the High Desert Museum.

Central Oregon Community College's Big Band Jazz will kick off the evening with "It Don't Mean a Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing)." Brad Baird will solo in "I Love You," by the great Cole Porter, and who could resist the third number, "Polka Dots and Moonbeams," by Jimmy Van Heusen, or "Groovin' High," by Dizzy Gillespie?

Music will play from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. and group dance lesson will take place at 7 and 8 p.m., provided by swing dance aficionado Sean Meehan. Museum staff will sport 1930s style dress, which is encouraged for a true jazz swing dance experience, says Pelley.

"While the music will be indoors, the outdoor exhibits will be available," she adds. Not only will the indoor and outdoor exhibits be open, but the cafe will have a special Friday night menu for people to enjoy.

Open 'til Dark

Friday, May 20, 6 to 9 p.m. High Desert Museum, 59800 S Hwy 97, Bend

Members $3, non-members $7

No-host bar


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