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Big Band Popularity

I live in Northeast Ohio, "Rock 'N Roll Central" (ie. Rock 'N Roll Hall of Fame and all). Not much big band or jazz music going on here.

What I was wondering, when I was out on the west coast back in the very late 1990's I was pleasantly surprised to find a big band playing great music at DisneyLand. Kids and young adults were having a ball dancing and learning to dance the music. They were dressed in the '40's attire and all. Big band was promoted here for a while but it never seemd to catch on.

It appeared evident to me there was a different attitude towards what music people liked there than what was happening back east.

Anyone out there still see big band and big band jazz flourishing in their area of the country? I would like to know if ther is some hope !!!!! I'm really tired of everyone talking Rock 'N Roll here.

Dale

Re: Big Band Popularity

Hi Dale...
I live on the east coast, and in my state alone (CT) there are at least 4 big bands that I know of. These are essentially "rehearsel" bands that run charts/arrangements on a weekly basis, and then play the ocassional gig. There doesn't seem to be a lack of players to fill all the section chairs as big band jazz is pretty popular here... who knows... could be the close proximity to ALL the music colleges in this area: Berklee, Hartt, Eastman, etc... As a matter of fact...

Buddy Rich drew heavily from Berklee in Boston to staff his band...! Also...

One band in particular here in CT plays a decent amount of BR arrangements. A friend of mine, an alto sax player, likes to play with this band as he enjoys the challenge of the Rich library... I ended up doing a few gigs with a couple of the big bands here... I filled in for the regular drummer, so much of my time was spent reading down the charts... was still fun, although I would have enjoyed it a lot more if I didn't have my head buried in the arrangement!

Perhaps YOU should start one in your area! That would be a neat undertaking!

Re: Big Band Popularity

Judging from the number of big bands that I know about and the location of my customers (I sell and locate big-band arrangements), I would have to say that big band is most active and popular in California. Next would be New York and Florida.