Hit the dancefloor to the sound of big band music

John Paul Reilly and Frances McNamara will also dance-off on the night.

John Paul Reilly and Frances McNamara will also dance-off on the night.

Fans of jazz, swing, blues, and the ‘big band sound’ are in for a treat next weekend at the Royal Theatre, Castlebar.

Famous jazz and blues ensemble, The Big Chris Barber Band, are expected to fill the dancefloor for the night when they play one of only three Irish dates in their upcoming European tour in the theatre next Friday night.

The renowned 10-piece band will provide the musical entertainment alongside a Strictly Come Dancing extravaganza with a difference, in aid of Western Care Association, St Anthony’s Special School, and the Irish Cancer Society.

The Strictly contestants are all keen social dancers and many are former competitors in Strictly Come Dancing competitions across the county.

They will pit their dancing skills against one another in a bid to be crowned the champion couple of Strictly Winners 2015.

Following the dance-off, the audience can then make their own mark on Connacht’s largest suspended dancefloor and dance the night away to the rich sound of The Big Chris Barber Band.

Inspired by the King Oliver Creole Jazz Band, Chris Barber formed his first Barber New Orleans Band in 1949 at the age of 19.

Over the intervening years, the band evolved into the Chris Barber Jazz and Blues Band, and became firmly established as one of Europe’s biggest big band acts.

Blending traditional jazz, swing, and blues, the group is still led by its famous founder and bandleader, jazz trombonist, Chris Barber.

The eight couples taking part in Strictly Winners are: John Conroy and Aoife Hastings, Tom Ralph and Josephine Sheridan, John and Teresa Moran, John Geraghty and Eileen Toner, Tracey Heneghan and Attila Feliki, Mary O' Sullivan and John Power, Ann Kelly and Jim Lawlor, and Frances MacNamara and John Paul Reilly.

The couples will battle it out on the dance floor for a place in the top three. The top three dancers on the night will then be judged by a panel of dance teachers solely on their dance ability. The winning couple will receive €1,000 towards their chosen charity on the night.

Doors open at 7pm with a show start time of 8pm.

Tickets cost €20 and are available from the Royal Theatre Box Office, Westport Road, Castlebar, and from Ticketmaster outlets nationwide.

Tickets are also available by phone on (094 ) 9023111 or 0818 300 000.

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