[Dixielandjazz] Battles of the Bands

Robert S. Ringwald ringwald at calweb.com
Mon Dec 29 13:31:44 PST 2003

  Linda Marty Schmitz wrote:

> I am president of the Madison Jazz Society in Madison, WI.  We are
celebrating our 20th anniversary in 2004.
> One of our concerts will be a "battle of the bands" between two local
18-piece big bands.  I want to write a news article about the old battles of
the bands but I'm much too young to have been at one (born in 1945).  Can
any of you help me?
> Were you ever at one?  How were they set up?  Who did you hear?  Did they
really determine a "winner?"  Whatever you can give me that will be of
interest to our readers in Wisconsin would be greatly appreciated.


I have not read all of the posts that resulted from your question.  Thus, I
don't know if it was ever answered.

I remember the Ken Burns Jazz series talking about "Battle of the Bands" on
several occasions.

I believe that one way to do it would be to put the 2 bands at opposing ends
of the room, hopefully on a stage or risers.  They would take turns playing
songs.  As soon a s one band ends their song, the other band would start up.

Another way would be to put them side by side on the same stage, if the
stage was large enough.  This is always fun when for a finale, the bands
have gotten together & rehearsed a couple of arrangements that they could do
together.  This of course, makes for a *really big band sound.

I don't think it is necessary for anyone to vote on who was the best as it
is all in fun.

The Uptown Lowdown band, along with another band have rehearsed some
Fletcher Henderson arrangements (I believe they were) & performed them in a
combined band which were absolutely great!  I saw them, I believe it was in
Sacramento but it might have been at another festival.

It could have been possible, in the early days (without sound systems) in a
very large ballroom  where 2 bands would be playing at the same time at
either ends of the room & not interfering with each other.  But, I am not
sure.  Perhaps someone on DJML has more info.

Good luck.

mr.wonderful at ringwald.com
Placerville, CA  USA

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