Hot Tomatoes warm up a cool Dillon evening |

Hot Tomatoes warm up a cool Dillon evening

Eric Melvin, special to the Summit Daily

DILLON – The Hot Tomatoes Dance Orchestra swing band will make an appearance at the Dillon Amphitheatre Saturday night.

Formed 20 years ago, it’s one of the most preferred jazz and swing bands from the Front Range. The band’s musical styles vary from music of the great jazz age to the extraordinary big band jazz and swing bands lead by greats such as Count Basie, Benny Goodman, Duke Ellington, Harry James and former Coloradan Glenn Miller.

“We are very popular among swing and Lindy hop dancers because we authentically recreate the music they learned their dances to,” said Jack Fredericksen, alto saxophone player.

The Hot Tomatoes are completely at home performing music for dancers and listeners with diverse styles, including rhythm-and-blues.

“Frankie Manning, the famous Lindy dancer from Harlem, N.Y., in the 1930s and who now teaches worldwide, created a CD of his favorite dance tunes,” Fredericksen said. “We play all but one of those tunes on that particular recording.”

The Hot Tomatoes have an extensive library of more than 1,000 musical arrangements including swing, ballroom, Latin and waltzes. There are three distinct singers in the band who interpret music from Frank Sinatra to Louis Prima to Louis Jordan.

Band members include leader Ted Fulte on drums, Fredericksen (alto saxophone, clarinet, composer), Joe Hall (trombone, vocals), Jack LaForte (tenor saxophone, clarinet, vocals), Keith Waters (piano), Joe Lopez (bass), Kevin Bollinger (trumpet, vocals, arranger), Rich Maul (alto saxophone, clarinet) and Al Hood (trumpet).

The Hot Tomatoes jazz trio often plays for audiences before the entire band begins. They play throughout the Western states and have found musical homes at jazz festivals in Arizona, California, Idaho and Canada.

“We have followed the continued resurgence of swing for the new generation of jitterbugs and Lindy-hoppers which catapulted us into popular Denver venues such as the Church, the Mercury Cafe and the Wynkoop Brewery. We also remind people of the great American music that developed in Harlem in the 1930s, which led us to the swing era, which was the leading morale booster at home and for the troops during World War II,” Fredericksen said.

The free concert begins at

7 p.m. Saturday at the Dillon Amphitheatre and is part of the Lake Dillon Foundation for the Performing Arts series.

When and Where

– Event: Hot Tomatoes Dance Orchestra

– When: 7 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 17

– Where: Dillon Amphitheatre

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