[Dixielandjazz] Big Band Showcase - Denny Farrell Show.

Bill Gunter jazzboard at hotmail.com
Fri Dec 26 22:25:20 PST 2003

Hi Brian (and all),

You wrote:

>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 
>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.

20 bands in the Toronto area . . . Wow!  We have perhaps three or four in 
Northern California such as the Royal Society Jazz Orchestra, the San 
Francisco Starlight Orchestra (I used to be in that one) in the Bay Area and 
a couple more up Sacramento way. They are great bands and they play fairly 
regularly. Not as much as any of us would like, however.  Tain't like the 
old days.

I guess we could say this music is alive as long as there are those of us 
who really love it and are willing to get out and play it for not very big 
bucks.  What happens when we're gone is anybody's guess but my 
prognostication would be the music winds up on recordings in the Library of 
Congress and that's about itl.

I'm not deliberately trying to be pessimistic about OKOM because there is 
plenty of it about to keep me happy for the rest of my forseeable future!  I 
have no complaints about not being able to find the music being played 
around here by competent musicians (and even some not so competent). But 
unless there is a dramatic revival we'll all probably "take it with us."

I'm certainly glad to have OKOM to take with me instead of that garbage I 
hear in todays media (MTV, etc.).


Bill "No Gansta Rapper" Gunter
jazzboard at hotmail.com

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