BIG BAND MUSICIANS WANTED
(Also often known as Swing band, stage band dance band and jazz band music)
To properly take part in today's music you need to be proficient in this particular genre.
If you are:
- An experienced big band player,
- An enthusiast who is keen to learn,
- An orchestral or band musician who would like to know more;
We can give you the help you need!
We need Big-band band musicians with some experience who would like to play and broaden their horizons.
ADVANTAGES in playing in a wind band:
- The opportunity to play a much wider range of music including film music:
- Morricone - Once Upon a Time in the West etc. Klaus Badelt Pirates of the Caribbean and many more.
- The chance to improve you sight-reading in this particular genre, with the help of tuition.
SIMILARITIES to a SWING BAND:
- General atmosphere at rehearsals etc.
- Many swing band classics in the repertoire
- The same old jokes!
BY THE WAY! Four of our members regularly play in a swing bands!
- Probably more community performances including some outdoor ones.
- Instrumentation viz. the addition of woodwind other than saxes.
- If you need help to explain any of this you can ring me on 0117 9561950.
- If you are uncertain of how to proceed why not PAY US A VISIT!
The M.D., Chris Harris is a life-long jazz and swing musician who has recently written a book on the subject of how to play swing.
We can offer you:
- A repertoire containing a wealth of swing-style music by composers such as George Gershwin and Cole Porter, swing standards originally popularised by bands such as Glenn Miller and Benny Goodman, as well as any amount of music from shows and films. Many of our orchestration have been arranged especially for Westerly Showband by the M.D.
- Special instruction, seminars and unlimited advice.
- The chance to play alongside musicians who "know their stuff!"
Please note that, at a later stage we plan to start our own swing band in the form of "a band within a band"!
These facilities exist for ALL wind instruments including bass and drums.
ALL ABOUT SWING
"Swing" is a direct descendant of The American music known as "Jazz".
Jazz originated in New Orleans in about 1900 and was performed "by ear"; that is to say without sheet music and was almost entirely improvised. Typically the bands numbered about seven or eight players.
The community in New Orleans was at that time, as it still is, multi-ethnic and it was the Afro-American element of its culture which provided jazz music with its syncopation and lilting quavers. As far as I can tell from audio recordings it was Jelly-Roll Moreton, a band leader of the period, who first used arrangements although these were probably not written down but memorised. . Even today such arrangements are known as "head arrangements". In the 1920's the band leader Fletcher Henderson began producing written arrangements for his own players and it is from these early beginnings that written swing-style arrangements developed.
An important change took place in about the early 1930's when young Euro-Americans stated to form their own bands. These bands catered for mainly ballroom dancing and although stylistically similar to swing they often marginalised the improvised jazz element. This music became known as "dance music" and the bands "dance bands". Dance bands eventually disregarded jazz altogether, except for feature numbers, and concentrated on ballroom dance forms such as the quick-step, the fox-trot and the waltz. Well known names from this period include The Dorsey Brothers, Artie Shaw, Glenn Miller and Harry James.
Happily the interest in Swing, now sometimes called "big-band music" or "stage band music" has never completely evaporated in spite of the efforts of record companies' to kill it off with guitar music. Indeed, to the contrary, it has become part of the establishment and frequently appears a film and show music and even as music for the ballet.
When I was young they used to say "Big-Bands are coming back..! The truth is, they never went away!