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Historical society recreates Idora Park big band dances

The Mahoning Valley Historical Society will recreate the big band dances of the 1930s and ’40s at Idora Park with an event Friday at the Tyler History Center.

Many local, regional and national musical performers drew capacity crowds at Idora during the peak of the big band era. Youngstown favorite Hal Kemp and his Orchestra performed three times during 1934 to 1938. More than 80 years later, Joseph Rubin’s company of musicians will perform Kemp’s original arrangements, including the evening’s title song, “Got A Date With an Angel.”

Joseph Rubin and His Orchestra will perform that and other selections from the Great American Songbook. Rubin specializes in living history concerts, recreating the popular music of the 1890 to 1949 era. He is the curator of the Ted Lewis Museum and founder / executive director of the Canton Comic Opera Company.

His 13-piece swing band features vocalists Jay “Skinnay” Spencer, Keitha Brown and Matt Tolentino.

There will be a dance floor, and images and artifacts from Idora Park will be on display.

“Got A Date With an Angel — Musical Memories of Idora Park” starts at 6 p.m. Friday at the center, 325 W. Federal St., Youngstown. Tickets are $20 for reserved seating, $15 for general admission and $10 for MVHS members and are available online at mahoninghistory.org/idoramu sicalmemories.

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