Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, the band at the forefront of the big band swing explosion of the late 1990s, has defied the odds.

Rare is the band that is launched to stardom from the California club circuit all the way to major arenas and doesn’t end up reality check and a one-way ticket back to the earth.

BBVD, who will be performing at the Merced Theatre on Oct. 4, has defied those odds. The fun-loving seven-piece ensemble has crafted out a 20-year career by building an impressive following with their energetic live show and incredible musicianship.

“We have always thought down the line and we didn’t want to be a club band forever,” says Glen “The Kid” Marhevka. “We always try to get better as a band, enjoy the band, arrive to the occasion and build a better show. We had to figure out the next level of our career.”

They are now regulars at jazz festivals and theaters across the country, and Marhevka says the band is producing the best music of their career. With the release of their last recording, “Rattle Them Bones” in 2012, Marhevka says they continue to push their musicianship in the studio and on stage.

“We always push each other,” he says. “We have to go for it all the time. We don’t want to let anybody else down.”

The Oct. 4 show is produced by Arts UC Merced Presents. Arts UC Merced Presents is an on-campus organization that aims to provide programming for our community that will feature art of professional performers and fine artists from the San Joaquin Valley and from across the globe. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are between $15 and $35 and can be purchased by visiting or