Ken Dahleen and his Big Band Staff. File Photo

Reed man, bandleader and Idyllwild Summer Concert Series (ISCS) producer Ken Dahleen returns with his Big Band Staff in the series’ penultimate position on Thursday, Aug. 11 starting at 6:30 p.m. at the Idyllwild Community Center site. There is no opening act.

Clarinetist Dahleen brings back the big band era and tips his hat to the swing styles of the great bands of that era — Tommy Dorsey, Glenn Miller, Harry James, Benny Goodman and later, Pete Fountain. “We’ll feature the guys in the band, giving everyone a chance to stretch out,” said Dahleen.

Increasingly, the series has become a venue for dancing, especially after the move to the ICC site with its cement tennis court that provides surer footing for dancers of all ages than the sometimes-perilous grass of the previous State Park venue.

Dahleen repeats his winning format of a first-half big band concert followed by a break-out-the-shoes rhythmic dance fest.

The series has grown over the years with attendance now averaging near 1,000, said Dahleen. He noted that 3rd District Supervisor Jeff Stone stopped by at last Thursday’s event. “He made an effort to stop by, got up and said, ‘Thanks’,” noted Dahleen.

Thursday night’s passing of the hat is netting between $600 and $800. With three concerts left (including that of Aug. 4), that should put Dahleen close to his budget. But, just as it is each year, it will be a squeaker. Donors can contribute by contacting Dahleen at (951) 659-2229, depositing checks into the ISCS account at BBVA Compass bank in Idyllwild or mailing checks to ISCS, P.O. Box 1542, Idyllwild, CA 92549.