Music legend Howard Cable coming to playhouse for Swing

Howard Cable, one of Canada’s prin­cipal composers and conduc­tors, is currently here rehear­sing Swing, a tribute to the Big Band Era, for the 2008 season at St. Jacobs Country Play­house.
“This is truly a momentous occasion,” said Drayton En­ter­tainment artistic director Alex Mustakas.  “It is an honour to have such distinguished talent at St. Jacobs Country Play­house.”
Born in Toronto in 1920, Cable has been associated with a collection of musical icons and stars that is impressive.. Notable collaborations include Ella Fitzgerald, Jim Carrey, Tony Bennett, Bob Hope, Richard Rodgers, Alan Lund, and Frank Loesser, to name a few.
Cable studied at the Royal Conservatory of Music, in Toronto. His early years were spent in radio when he suc­ceeded Percy Faith on CBC in 1941, composing, arranging, and conducting music for over 1,000 radio dramas and variety programs. On television, Cable was music director and arran­ger for many telecasts, includ­ing the highly popular Show­time.
His work as an arranger has led to collaborations with many artists, including the Canadian Brass, The Elmer Iseler Singers, and Sharon, Lois and Bram.
A leading figure in the musical history of Canada for over 65 years, Cable’s commit­ment and extensive range has resulted in the recording of compositions and arrangements on many record labels and performances worldwide. A recipient of the Order of Canada and several awards for his talent and dedication, Cable continues to play a leading role in Canada’s music industry.
He has appeared in all the major festivals across Canada. As of late, Cable continues to compose and is a widely held guest conductor for symphony orchestras across the country. The Canadian National Exhibition, General Motors Showcase, Royal York Hotel, and Broadway are just a sampling of the venues that are included in his extensive directorial history.
Some of his acclaimed compositions and arrangements include: Newfoundland Rhapsody, Ontario Pictures, Scottish Rhapsody, and Point Pelee.
He was also commissioned to score and conduct Saturday’s Game, the first ever theme for Hockey Night In Canada, in 1951-52.
At age 87, the musical legend is working alongside Mustakas in the coming production of Swing. Cable previously worked with Drayton Entertainment on that production when it was produced to great acclaim in 2004 at the Huron Country Playhouse, in Grand Bend, and King’s Wharf Theatre, in Penetanguishene.
Cable collaborated with Alan and Blanche Lund at the Charlottetown Festival when Swing was first conceived and produced in 1985. The original production marked the discovery and professional debut of The Mantini Sisters – Ann, Barbara, and Sandra, all three of whom will reprise their roles in the revival at the Playhouse.
Cable is responsible for overseeing all orchestrations and vocal arrangements for the 68 numbers covering the golden era of swing music. It’s a challenging assignment, as that was a time when big bands like Count Basie, Glenn Miller, and Duke Ellington ruled the charts, songs were full of snap and zip, Fred Astaire tapped, and everyone danced to the Lindy Hop.
“It has been an absolute privilege to watch a genius in his field at work,” said Mustakas.  “Howard Cable’s arrangements of those timeless classics are going to have people snapping their fingers, tapping their toes, and humming a tune as they leave the theatre.  Don’t miss it.”
Swing runs from March 12 to April 6.  Tickets can be ordered by calling the box office at 519-747-7788 or 1-888-449-4463. Visit www.­