ISRAELL'CHAIMSeptember 2017

Local Sounds of Big Band


Do you long for the beautiful, soothing sounds of the Big Band era? Look no further than Mission Valley on Sept 24, where The Ira B. Liss Big Band Jazz Machine will delight you with sounds of Tommy Dorsey, Benny Goodman and more Jazz sounds from the ’40s and ’50s era at the Handlery Hotel.

Liss is known worldwide as the founder and conductor of this 18-piece orchestra with talented and beautiful Janet Hammer as vocalist. We heard them recently at the Bernardo Winery, where for the last 16 years they have performed. Talented winery owner Rossi Rizzo plays a smooth saxophone with the Big Band Jazz Machine as well.

Despite a speaking voice sounding like Jimmy Stewart, and his height even higher, Liss doesn’t seek out the limelight. Music for him has always been his passion, it is what he does. Liss feels blessed to be conducting his band for over 30 years and grateful for the friendships with band members that have been cultivated through amazing music association.

Liss describes himself as a spiritual person in a secular world. He credits his Jewish background as the biggest influence on who he is and on everything he does, including his music. He says, “Three-fourths of the music business is made up of Jews — Judaism gave and continues to give people music, freedom, and passion for life — L’chaim! He is a member of Young Israel and davens there regularly.

Stayed tuned for the amazing sounds — on a CD soon to be recorded — of Jewish-inspired Big Band tunes composed especially for the Ira B. Liss Big Band Jazz Machine.


The Ira B. Liss Big Band Jazz Machine returns to The Handlery Hotel in Mission Valley on Sunday September 24 at 5 p.m. in the beautiful intimate outdoor Terrace Garden for a program of exciting big band music by San Diego’s favorite and oldest professional big band, since 1979. Tickets are $15, no reserved seating, all ages welcome. Food and beverage available on site. Sorry no lawn chairs or coolers allowed. No refunds. All tickets must be purchased in advance online at No ticket sales at the door (hotel policy).



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