Happy New Year. In contrast to the general gloom about the state of the nation, there is good news on the big band scene. 2020 shows an increase of four Sussex based big bands compared with 2019. Who are included in my annual January list of active gigging big bands based in the county.
As well as the name of the band, the list includes websites, where known, Facebook pages, if any, and contact details.
Big Band Sounds
Contact: Darren Vassie, email@example.com
Bognor Regis Big Band
Contact: Mike Bosley, 01243 821434, firstname.lastname@example.org
Brighton Jazz Mafia Big Band
Contact: Alex Bondonno, 07941 971411, email@example.com
ConChord Big Band
Contact: Frank Osborne, 01342 322646, firstname.lastname@example.org
Happy Days Big Band
Contact: Chris Merryfield-Day, 07910 127785
JL Dance & Swing Band
Contact: James Lelean, email@example.com
Phoenix Big Band
Contact: Debby Wells, Deborah.Wells@mercer.com
Contact: Peter Thompson, 07855 008116, firstname.lastname@example.org
Some Like It Hotter
Contact: Jo Wood, 07545 305690, email@example.com,
Sounds of Swing
Contact: Chris Tanner, 07769 789225 / 07860 182734 firstname.lastname@example.org
Sussex All-Stars Big Band
Contact: Peter Blackmore, 01323 764192, email@example.com
The BYG (Bells Yew Green) Big Band
Contact: Karen Wardrop, firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Brighton Big Band
Contact: John Lake, 07950 317496, email@example.com
The CH Big Band
Contact: Christ’s Hospital School, Horsham.
The Fred Woods Big Band
Contacts: Richard Guest, firstname.lastname@example.org,
Bill Woods, 07776 200586, email@example.com
The Horsham RBL Legionnaires Big Band
Contact: Richard Guest, firstname.lastname@example.org
The Johnny Spice Swing Orchestra
Contact: Paul Hyde, 01273 516632, Paul.email@example.com,
The JP Big Band
Contact: Jim Prior, firstname.lastname@example.org
The Les Paul Big Band
Contact: Steve Paul, 01273 509631 email@example.com com
The Maestro Big Band
Contact: Paul Boswell, 01273 517999 firstname.lastname@example.org
The One World Jazz Orchestra
Contact: Paul Nieman. 01273 256521 / 07706 165768 email@example.com
The Perdido Players’ Swing Band
Contact: Peter Swann, 01444 450335 firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Ron Green Big Band
Contact: email@example.com or 01798 813008 / 07752 405493, firstname.lastname@example.org
The Ronnie Smith Big Band
Contact: Rod Burrows, 01903 783053, email@example.com
The Simon Bates Big Band
Contact: Simon Bates, 07739 231467, firstname.lastname@example.org
The South Coast Big Band
Contact: Duncan J. Reeks, 01323 767804/ 07721 184031, email@example.com
The Studio 9 Orchestra
The Sussex Jazz Orchestra
Contact: Patrick Billingham, 07812 418560, firstname.lastname@example.org
The Sussex Universities’ Big Band
The Swingshift Big Band
Contact: Jonathan Bailey, 01825 872574, email@example.com or
Sarah Lofthouse, 01825 873677
The Tony Strudwick Big Band
Contact: Tony Strudwick, 01903 764328, firstname.lastname@example.org
This list is of conventionally constituted big bands. Bands with a less conventional line up will be listed next month. 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 2020. The following bands occupy these regular monthly slots.
First Sunday: 12:45 – 3:00 pm, Sounds of Swing Big Band at The Horseshoe Inn Hotel, Posey Green, Windmill Hill, Herstmonceux, East Sussex, BN27 4RU. Free entry.
First Monday: 8:00 – 10:30 pm, The Rox Sessions Live at ‘The Hoff’. Bognor Regis Big Band open rehearsal at the Hothampton Arms, London Road, Bognor Regis, West Sussex, PO21 1PR. Free entry with collection for the Rox music charity.
First Wednesday: 8:30 pm, The Fred Woods Big Band at the Horsham Sports Club, Cricketfield Road, Horsham, West Sussex, RH12 1TE, £2 (Club members free.)
Second Sunday: 12:30 – 3:00 pm, The South Coast Big Band at the Fishermens Club, Royal Parade, Eastbourne, East Sussex, BN22 7AA £5
Second Tuesday: 8:00 – 10:30 pm, The Ronnie Smith Big Band at The Humming Bird Restaurant, Main Terminal Building, Shoreham Airport, West Sussex, BN43 5FF. Free entry with collection.
Last Friday: 8:30 – 11:00 pm, The Les Paul Big Band at Patcham Community Centre, Ladies Mile Road, Patcham, Brighton, BN1 8TA, £5.
Up to date details can be found in the listings elsewhere in the magazine.
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 Sunday January 12th. My email address is email@example.com.