Two Dukes Show: Tom Wopat Joins the La Crosse Jazz Orchestra for March Concerts


Luke Duke and Duke Ellington take on big band jazz!

Tom Wopat, legendary actor, singer, and raconteur, appears with the La Crosse Jazz Orchestra for two shows on March 22 and 23 at the Cappella Performing Arts Center in La Crosse.  

Wopat came to fame in the ’80s as Luke Duke in the "Dukes of Hazzard" and has been a mainstay on stage and screen ever since. While appreciative of that experience, he wisely moved forward with a career in which his first two loves – music and theater – ultimately yielded immensely rewarding results.  

On the big screen his credits include “Django,” “New Money,” and the leading role in “County Line.” On TV, Tom graced such popular programs as "Medium," "Smallville," "Blue Bloods," "The Blacklist," "Madam Secretary" and had a recurring sheriff role in the series "Longmire."  His Broadway roles include “Chicago,” “42nd Street,”  “Annie Get Your Gun,” and “Catch Me If You Can.”

Wopat’s many recordings include two superb jazz offerings, says LJO director Greg Balfany. On “Still of the Night” Tom sings standards from the American Songbook with a large jazz orchestra, while “Tom Wopat Sings Harold Arlen” features him with a swinging jazz combo comprised of New York City’s best session players. 

Wopat has had several appearances in New York jazz clubs, notably with his music director Ted Firth, known for his work as Michael Feinstein's music director and pianist. The March shows with LJO will be Tom’s first live appearance with a straight-ahead big band, Balfany says. The musical arrangements have been specially prepared for this engagement by Firth, who will be taking the piano chair with the LJO.

The performance will include jazz arrangements of Wopat's original “County Line” theme song, “The Moon is a Harsh Mistress,” “Someday Baby,” Sinatra favorite “Let’s Face the Music and Dance,” and several more. In addition, the LJO will perform the music of Duke Ellington as reinterpreted by Clark Terry, John Fedchock and Alan Baylock. Terry’s version of "Perdido" will give the whole ensemble brief solo space creating joyous energy for all, Balfany says.

The concerts starts at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, March 22, and Saturday, March 23 at the Cappella Performing Arts Center, 721 King St. in La Crosse. There are three ways to purchase tickets:

  • On the Cappella website
  • Call the Cappella box office at (608) 299-7248
  • In person at the box office at 721 King St., La Crosse – hours are Monday through Friday from 1 to 5 p.m.



The La Crosse Jazz Orchestra is Western Wisconsin's premier big band. Directed by Greg Balfany, the group is best known through its Jazz in the Park concert series. The LJO mission: to promote, preserve and forward the creation of jazz music through free live performances available to all in our region. LJO operates under fiscal sponsorship from La Crosse Community Foundation.


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