John Tesh is a busy man these days. The six-time Emmy-winning composer and Grammy-nominated musician is also the host of an award-winning daily and weekly syndicated radio show, "Intelligence for Your Life," which airs on more than 350 stations across the country and in Canada, as well as the U.K.
How does he find time to stage a nationwide tour with his big band of 12 musicians?
"My wife keeps me on track," said Tesh. "I love the world of radio, music and television. So when you look at my bio, it's basically just me bouncing around in that world."
This Sunday, he bounces into Vienna to perform at Wolf Trap with his orchestra in a new show called "John Tesh: Big Band Live!"
|'John Tesh: Big Band Live!'|
|Where: Wolf Trap's Filene Center, 1645 Trap Road, Vienna|
|When: 8 p.m. Sunday|
|Info: $42 in-house, $25 lawn; 877-965-3872; wolftrap.org|
"When people see us on stage, they realize this is something we're really serious about," Tesh continued. "We probably have about 20 [Big Band-era] songs we can choose from. We definitely have a playbook, and we also try to read the audience."
Reading that audience includes determining the ages present -- he plays to 15 year olds, 90 year olds and everyone in between -- as well as deciding whether or not they are up for dancing.
"Many times, we'll take a video camera and we'll hide it [onstage] pointed at the audience so when you watch it on the tour bus on your way to the next venue, you can see what's happening," Tesh explained. "What we find with this music is that audiences are holding hands, singing along and dancing. The 15 year olds are all over the place!"
The music consists of those songs made popular by band leaders Benny Goodman, Glenn Miller and Artie Shaw, and pays tribute to the likes of George Gershwin, Count Basie and Duke Ellington. Featured are favorites such as "In the Mood," "Beyond the Sea" and "Blue Skies," which won an Oscar for the film "Swing Time."
Tesh, a self-professed "band geek" since junior high school, played trumpet in his school marching band and was proficient on piano from a very early age. But he credits his band for bringing it all together.
"The magic happens onstage," he said. "There's nothing like getting up there with those guys when they're swinging so hard."