Big Band Scene (Jan. 2018)

Patrick Billingham looks forward to 2018 and lists the active gigging big bands around Sussex.

    Happy New Year.  Despite the uncertainties about exiting the European Union, our financial future and the threat to civilisation as we know it from the antics of various unhinged national leaders, the prospects for the big band scene in Sussex for 2018 are very hopeful indeed.  Already there are more than 100 gigs in the calendar for the year, and there are more big bands around.

    The Big Band @Brunswick series continues. At the time of writing, due to a cancellation, there is uncertainty about which band is to occupy the January slot.  If you plan to attend, I suggest that you contact The Brunswick (01273 733984) on the day.

    I intend to continue the tradition of the previous January columns by listing the active gigging big bands based in the county.  Last year there were 33, of which 27 were the conventional, more or less seventeen piece: sax, trumpet, trombone and rhythm sections line-up.  The others are bands with less conventional line-ups, but with no fewer than seven horns. Some with mostly saxes, others including strings, and even occasionally an accordion. But all playing in big band style.  As well as the name of the band, the list includes websites, where known, Facebook pages, if any, and contact details, should you wish find out more about them.

    First of all, the bands with the conventional line-up:

 

Big Band Sounds

Contact: Darren Vassie, darrenvassie@googlemail.com

 

ConChord Big Band

www.conchordbigband.com/

Contact: Frank Osborne, 01342 322646, info@conchordbigband.com

 

JL Dance & Swing Band

www.facebook.com/JL-Dance-And-Swing-122255671033/

Contact: James Lelean, jlmusic@gmx.co.uk 

 

Phoenix Big Band

http://www.phoenix-bigband.co.uk/

Contact: Debby Wells, Deborah.Wells@mercer.com

 

Ska-Kestra

www.facebook.com/Ska-Kestra-148154381911545/

Contact: Peter Thompson, 07855 008116, contactpeter@btinternet.com

 

Sounds of Swing

www.soundsofswingbigband.moonfruit.com

Contact: Chris Tanner, 07769 789225 / 07860 182734 chris.j.tanner@live.co.uk

 

Straight No Chaser

www.bigbandjazz.co.uk

www.facebook.com/pg/SNCBigBand/    Contact: Alex Bondonno, alex@bigbandjazz.co.uk

 

Sussex All-Stars Big Band

www.sussexallstarsbigband.co.uk 

Contact: Peter Blackmore, 01323 764192, p_blackmore@hotmail.com 

    

The BYG (Bells Yew Green) Big Band

www.thebygbigband.co.uk

www.facebook.com/thebygbigband

Contact: Karen Wardrop, enquiries@thebygbigband.co.uk.  

 

The Brighton Big Band    

brightonbigband.blogspot.co.uk

www.facebook.com/The-Brighton-Big-Band-109421702472952/            

Contact: John Lake, 07950 317496, johnbruce_@hotmail.com 

 

The CH Big Band

Contact: Christ’s Hospital School, Horsham.

 

The Fred Woods Big Band

www.facebook.com/fredwoodsbigband

Contacts: Richard Guest, richard.guest6@btinternet.com, 

Bill Woods, 07776 200586, billwoods245@aol.com

 

The Horsham RBL Legionnaires Big Band

Contact: Richard Guest, richard.guest6@btinternet.com

 

The Johnny Spice Swing Orchestra    

www.facebook.com/JohnnySpiceSwingOrchestra/        

Contact: Paul Hyde, 01273 516632, Paul.hyde@talktalk.net,

 

The JP Big Band

Contact: Jim Prior, jamesprior1908@gmail.com

 

The Les Paul Big Band

www.lespaulbigband.co.uk    

www.facebook.com/jazzyfunkster.jazzyfunkster                    

Contact: Steve Paul, 01273 509631 steven_paul1@yahoo.co.uk com 

 

The Maestro Big Band

www.facebook.com/The-Maestro-Big-Band-319021478233425/

Contact: Paul Boswell, 01273 517999 paul@maestronewhaven.co.uk

 

The One World Jazz Orchestra

www.oneworldorchestra.co.uk

www.facebook.com/oneworldorchestra/

Contact: Paul Nieman. 01273 256521 / 07706 165768 paultnieman@gmail.com

 

The Perdido Players’ Swing Band

www.perdidoplayers.co.uk

www.facebook.com/Perdido-Players-1514229442198744/

Contact: Peter Swann, 01444 450335 heapetsw@gmail.com.

 

The Ron Green Big Band

rongreenbigband.wordpress.com

www.facebook.com/rongreenbigband/

Contact: Ron Green, 01798 813008 / 07752 405493, rongreen980@btinternet.com

 

 

The Ronnie Smith Big Band    

Contact: Rod Burrows, 01903 783053, rod@burrowshome.co.uk

 

The Simon Bates Big Band

Contact: Simon Bates, 07739 231467,  info@simonbates.co.uk

 

The South Coast Big Band

www.southcoastbigband.co.uk    

Contact: Duncan J. Reeks, 01323 767804/ 07721 184031, djreeks@btinternet.com

 

The Studio 9 Orchestra    

www.studio9orchestra.com    

www.facebook.com/studio9orchestra/  

Contact: s9orchestra@gmail.com

 

The Sussex Jazz Orchestra

a18462.wixsite.com/sussex-jazz-orch

www.facebook.com/Sussex-Jazz-Orchestra-SJO-299962200055146/    

Contact: Patrick Billingham, 07812 418560, g8aac@yahoo.co.uk

 

The Sussex Universities’ Big Band

sussexbigband.co.uk

www.facebook.com/sussexunibigband

Contact: sussexbigband@gmail.com

 

The Swingshift Big Band

www.swingshiftsussex.co.uk

Contact: Jonathan Bailey, 01825 872574, swingshift4u@hotmail.com

 

The Tony Strudwick Big Band

www.tonystrudwick.co.uk

Contact: Tony Strudwick,    01903 764328, tonystrudwick@msn.com

 

    Bands with less conventional line-ups:

 

Saxshop

www.saxshop.org

www.facebook.com/saxshopbrighton

Contact: Beccy Rork, beccyrork@gmail.com

 

Seaford Rock & Jazz Orchestra

www.seafordrockandjazz.co.uk    

Contact: Pat White 01323 897360, thewhites@pwhiteseaford.co.uk

 

The Downsbeat Swing Band        

Contact: Peter Everett 01403 257387 everett.peter@gmail.com

 

The Swingin’ Saxophone Big Band

www.facebook.com/theswinginsaxophonebigband/

Contact: Karen Wardrop, karen.wardrop@btopenworld.com.

 

The Wacky Band

www.facebook.com/TheWackyBand

Contact: Graham Stephens, thewackyband@outlook.com.   

or Paul paul@classicbikes-sussex.co.uk.

 

Trees

www.treesensemble.org        

Contact: Terry Pack 07801 482984 tpfeedback@hotmail.com.

    

    Some of these bands perform regularly, perhaps more than a dozen times a year, others occasionally, some were formed to raise funds for one off charity events, but due to popular demand, may well be heard again in 2018.

    If you know about, or play in any Sussex based band that I haven’t included, then please get in touch and let me know.   And also about any upcoming gigs in the county.  

    Finally, two Facebook groups that may be of interest.  Both contain up to date information about the local scene as well as giving you the opportunity to post details of any of your upcoming gigs.

    Big Bands of Brighton, www.facebook.com/groups/1652699088343996/, is more specialised and caters for our particular interests.

    Live Bands Playing Around The South Coast www.facebook.com/groups/supportlivebands/, caters for all sizes of band. 

    Next month:  Hopefully more news and views.  If you would like your band featured, and I have not already contacted you, please get in touch.  Or if there is anything else, such as gig news, or feedback on this column, that you would like me to include in February’s Big Band Scene, please send it to me by Wednesday January 25th.  My email address is g8aac@yahoo.co.uk. 

 

Big Band Gigs

January 2018 – early February 2018

[R] means a residency

bold italics part of a regular series

 

Wednesday 3rd January

[R] 8:30 pm, The Fred Woods Big Band at the Horsham Sports Club, Cricketfield Road, Horsham, West Sussex RH12 1TE (01403 254628).  £2 (Club members free.)

 

Thursday 4th January

[R] 7:30 pm, The Maestro Big Band with Nicki Day at the Hope Inn, West Pier, Newhaven, East Sussex BN9 9DN (01273 515389).  Free entry  

 

Sunday 7th January

[R] 12:45 – 3:00 pm, Sounds of Swing Big Band at The Horseshoe Inn Hotel, Posey Green, Windmill Hill, Herstmonceux, East Sussex BN27 4RU (02035 645225).   Free entry. 

7:30 – 10:00  pm, Big Band @Brunswick: at The Brunswick, 3, Holland Road, Hove BN3 1JF (01273 733984).  Free entry with collection.

 

Tuesday 9th January

[R] 8:00 – 10:30 pm, The Ronnie Smith Big Band at The Humming Bird Restaurant, Main Terminal Building, Shoreham Airport, West Sussex,  BN43 5FF (01273 452300).  Free entry with collection.

 

Sunday 14th January

[R] 12:00 – 3:00 pm, Groovin’ High Big Band at the Ravenswood Country House Inn, Horsted Lane, Sharpethorne, West Sussex RH19 4HY, (01342 810216).   Free entry. 

 

Sunday 21st January

11:00 am – 1:00 pm, Terry Pack’s Trees at The Ropetackle Arts Centre, Little High Street, Shoreham-by-Sea, BN43 5EG (01273 464440).  Free entry with collection.

 

Friday 26th January

[R] 8:30 – 11:00 pm, The Les Paul Big Band (Family & Friends evening) in Patcham, BN1, £5. For further details contact Steve (01273 509631) steven_paul1@yahoo.co.uk (Bring your own refreshments.)

 

Thursday 1st February

[R] 7:30 pm, The Maestro Big Band with Nicki Day at the Hope Inn, West Pier, Newhaven, East Sussex BN9 9DN (01273 515389).  Free entry  

 

Friday 2nd February

7:15 pm, Big Band Sounds with Michael Wooldridge at the Rye Wurlitzer at The Milligan Theatre, Rye College, Love Lane, Rye, East Sussex TN31 (01424 444058).  £10/£3 in aid of the Rye Wurlitzer Academy.  Doors open 7:00 pm.

 

Sunday 4th February

[R] 12:45 – 3:00 pm, Sounds of Swing Big Band at The Horseshoe Inn Hotel, Posey Green, Windmill Hill, Herstmonceux, East Sussex BN27 4RU (02035 645225).   Free entry. 

7:30 – 10:00  pm, Big Band @Brunswick: The One World Orchestra at The Brunswick, 3, Holland Road, Hove BN3 1JF (01273 733984).  Free entry with collection.

 

Wednesday 7th February

[R] 8:30 pm, The Fred Woods Big Band at the Horsham Sports Club, Cricketfield Road, Horsham, West Sussex RH12 1TE (01403 254628).  £2 (Club members free.)