Dance to the old standards on the South End

Take the stage with swing, tango, rumba or more to the tunes of Triptych, a big-band style group.

The band, which specializes in oldies, will play in “Let It Be a Dance!” at 7 p.m. Friday, May 23, at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Whidbey Island.

The musicians of Triptych — John Leaser on tenor sax, Leanne Long on piano and Richard Hughes on string bass — will join drummer Rick Miller and vocalist Jim Carroll in songs from the 1930s to ’50s. The band has performed for seniors at Maple Ridge Assisted Living Community and Careage of Whidbey and at private parties. This is the first time the group has played in a dance setting.

Leaser hopes to bring the sounds of the past to the dance floor for the participants.

“I’m looking forward to dancing, people having a good time and enjoying the music,” he said.

Leaser, a Greenbank resident, has been playing the saxophone since he was 10 years old and has played with several bands on the island for 15 years. After growing tired of traveling to the North End, Leaser formed Triptych a year and a half ago to focus on music for the South End.

Triptych plays “strictly old standards” for senior groups, he said. The band also includes Latin, swing and upbeat music to dance to, he said. Dancers can look forward to hearing “Blue Skies,” “Ain’t Misbehavin’,” “Georgia,” and “I’m Gonna Sit Right Down and Write Myself a Letter.”

People who have taken dance lessons are sure to put their skills to use during the event, he said. The band is versatile and isn’t tied to arrangements, forming their own parts as they go.

“I especially like playing with the band. We’re pretty loose in that we can all do a lot of ad libbing,” Leaser said. “We decide what we are going to do.”



Big-band-style dance at 7 p.m. Friday, May 23 at Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Whidbey Island, 20103 Highway 525, Freeland. Tickets cost $10 at the door.