Musicians from the other side of Iowa and from the other side of globe are in Clarinda today to perform in the Glenn Miller Festival, honoring the late big band leader in his home town. Arlene Leonard is helping organize the 28th annual musical celebration, which features six world-class big bands playing swing music through Sunday. While one band is from Dubuque, two of the others are from Japan and the Netherlands. Visitors to the southwest Iowa town will hear all sorts of music Miller helped make famous. There will also be plenty of dancing, picnics, breakfasts, tours of Miller’s home, a Saturday morning parade, and plenty of educational presentations about the trombone player, arranger and band leader whose plane vanished over the English Channel in December of 1944.Leonard says Miller’s music has endured through several generations and six decades and continues to sell records, C-Ds and concert tickets. She says the swing-style music is particularly big in Japan now — just as it was shortly after that island nation lost World War Two. Leonard says it’s very telling about the power of that music that the Japanese became so quickly endeared to it. bThe first concert in Clarinda is scheduled for one o’clock this afternoon. For more information, surf to “www.glenmiller.org”.
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