Big Band Scene

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Big Band Scene (June 2017)

Patrick Billingham reviews recent big band gigs and looks at/for missing parts. It is flaming June at last.  Time to say goodbye to May.  I have been to a couple of gigs recently.  One of which was a Saturday Afternoon of Jazz in the packed out foyer of The Ropetackle Arts Centre in Shoreham.  With…

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Big Band Scene (May 2017)

     Patrick Billingham brings you the latest big band news and looks at pad organisation. Once again it is May. Once again it is Festival time. Brighton’s major cultural event. Where we used to look forward to seeing internationally renowned big bands.  With the tickets sold out weeks before the concert.  But, once again,…

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Big Band Scene (April 2017)

This month Patrick Billingham surveys recent big band gigs and examines the legacy of Glenn Miller.       The Big Band@Brunswick programme continued last month with a debut performance by Big Band Sounds, who are based near Uckfield. This well rehearsed ensemble played mostly mainstream charts and standards. Ably supported by singers Jo Kimber and…

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Big Band Scene (March 2017)

This month Patrick Billingham looks at the Big Band @ The Brunswick series and profiles The Sussex All-Stars Big Band       It has been a good start to the year from the big band point of view.  There was a most enjoyable performance by Terry Pack’s Trees in the South Coast Jazz Festival.  Their…

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Big Band Scene (Feb. 2017)

This month Patrick Billingham gives listings for the Big Band at The Brunswick series and and reviews a recent concert by The New World Orchestra.     Hail to the chief!  Congratulations to the new democratically elected leader of the free world.  Even if there are rumours that public disrespect of the president is to…

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Big Band Scene (Jan. 2017)

    This month Patrick Billingham updates the list of big bands around Sussex (and other large ensembles).       Happy New Year.  Let’s hope that 2017 will bring fewer unpleasant surprises than 2016.  Or perhaps we should adopt the old Albanian approach.  We expect 2017 is going to be a better year than 2018, which,…

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Big Band Scene (December 2016)

This month Patrick Billingham searches for missing parts and discusses band finances.       The end is nigh. Not of civilisation as we know it, although after recent election results . . ., but of 2016.  The time of year when bands are preparing for the festive season and, pun intended, blowing the dust of…

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Big Band Scene (November 2016)

    This month Patrick Billingham revisits practice.       I am pleased to say that, after the death of its eponymous creator, the Les Paul Big Band is continuing to function.  I was at their September gig, and the band sounded pleasingly tight.  For me, a high point was a fresh take on their band…

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Big Band Scene (October 2016)

    Les Paul, who died last month at the age of 84, was born in Kolkata India, one of five children of Gerald and Minni Paul.  He was studying for an engineering degree when his family decided to move to England in 1951, where they settled in Croydon.  He embarked on an apprenticeship and studied…

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Big Band Scene (September 2016)

This month Patrick Billingham rounds up the latest big band news from around Sussex and profiles The BYG Big Band.          The Bonsai, 26 1/2 musicians, version of Terry Pack’s unfeasibly big band Trees were the August element of the Big Band @Brunswick programme last month. For those who have never yet heard…