http://pleasantonweekly.com/print/story/print/2013/05/10/vfw-resurrects-swing-era-at-tea-dances


Pleasanton Weekly

Arts & Entertainment - May 10, 2013

VFW resurrects swing era at Tea Dances

Stop by Wednesday to enjoy old favorites

by Dolores Fox Ciardelli

Put on your dancing shoes and head to the Veterans Memorial Building, 301 Main St., for an afternoon Tea Dance on Wednesday, May 15.

The Mellotones Combo will play dance music, with Joe Buonsante crooning as well as playing light percussion.

"We play a variety of songs -- samba, tango, rhumbas," Buonsante said.

The Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 6298 has sponsored these Tea Dances for the last two months, and Buonsante said they draw mostly folks older than 60.

"But some are around 50," he noted.

Buonsante himself is 80, a veteran of the Korean War. He began singing at the age of 13 after walking into a movie theater and observing Frank Sinatra in action. He was a teacher by profession, in Pleasanton elementary and middle schools.

The other Mellotones members play piano, bass, drums, guitar, trumpet and saxophone, in this and other bands in the area.

The Pleasanton Senior Center used to host Tea Dances, as did the Dublin Senior Center, which halted them due to budget cuts.

Pleasanton's VFW was motivated to host them with the Mellotones.

"They play what some might call the Great American Songbook, that is, popular tunes of stage, screen and radio, plus all-time favorites from the Swing Era of the 1930s and 1940s," said spokesman Pat Leary.

"They are a good time," Leary added. "The music is a lot of fun -- lot's of memories."

Dancing begins at 12:30 p.m. and continues until 3. Cost is $7, which includes a light lunch.

From Moonglow to Volare to the Tea for Two Cha Cha, join the VFW to dance or tap your toes to the music.

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