[Dixielandjazz] Big Band Showcase - Denny Farrell Show.

Bryan Livett livett at rogers.com
Fri Dec 26 17:04:01 PST 2003

Hi Bill:  Here in Canada, big bands (18-19 pieces with vocalist) thrive as
community bands; economically out of reach for all but the largest
commercial undertakings and once-a-year dances pre-selling 6-700 tickets,
they usually have weekly rehearsals and, once a month, take the music to the
public in the few pubs big enough to accommodate them for beer and a small
fee to help defray the costs of buying sheet music of arrangements.

There are around 20 such "orchestras" in the Greater Toronto Area, the
musicians are all part timers who have day gigs or who are retired.  They
keep the music alive and bring it to younger folks mostly as a labour of
love.  The leaders have an almost unimaginable task of getting 18 musicians
together to play for next to nothing, setting up, taking down, finding
substitutes, finding and rehearsing new charts, satisfying individual egos
AND the public.

My hat goes off to them, they truly are treasures of our music!



----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Bill Gunter" <jazzboard at hotmail.com>
To: <dixielandjazz at ml.islandnet.com>
Sent: Friday, December 26, 2003 12:52 PM
Subject: RE: [Dixielandjazz] Big Band Showcase - Denny Farrell Show.

> Listmates,
> Steve B. Wrote:
> >Big Band OKOM is alive and well.
> Couple of points:
> 1. I really don't think Big Band Music is "well."
> 2. I don't even think Big Band Music is "alive."
> 3. There was no "Big Band" music when Billie Holiday sang with Artie
> band or when Harry James was recording prior to WWII!  In those days they
> were called "Orchestras."   Yes, they were "bands" and, yes, they were
> relatively "big" but they weren't called that!  The term "Big Band" came
> after the war when the bands started to regroup but it was impossible to
> take a large orchestra on the road. The band members organized into
> combos and travelled playing dates in casinos and clubs. When the occasion
> would arise that an entire orchestra was called for they would hire extra
> sidemen, dig out the charts and call themselves the "Glenn Miller (or
> whomever) Big Band" to distinguish it from the smaller groups currently
> touring.
> Respectfully submitted,
> Bill "picky picky picky" Gunter
> jazzboard at hotmail.com
> ps . . . other than that Big Band Music is alive and well.
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