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Big Band

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NEWS
June 29, 1997 | By Louise Harbach, INQUIRER CORRESPONDENT
In these lean economic times for municipalities, there's still one thing that's free: Entertainment. Several Burlington County towns are offering easy times this summer, despite cutbacks in other parts of municipal budgets. "Municipalities have had to cut back on so many services, but not on summer entertainment," said Suzanne Veitengruber, Tabernacle's township administrator. "Municipally sponsored movies and concerts are big summertime traditions in Burlington County. " To help pay for movie and concert series, many municipalities are following the lead of Tabernacle and Burlington City and asking civic groups or businesses to help them defray the costs.
ENTERTAINMENT
August 24, 1990 | By Jack Lloyd, Inquirer Staff Writer
There is an abundance of talk these days about the shortage of jazz in Philadelphia and the lack of interest in it among the young. One organization, the Mill Creek Jazz and Cultural Society, is doing something about it. Much of this is due to the efforts of Ron Dewey Wynn, the organization's executive director, who instituted a "Back to the Roots" series of concerts and workshops offered free to school-age youngsters. Now, Wynn, in collaboration with noted trumpeter Johnny Coles, has come up with something else, the Mill Creek Jazz Orchestra, which will give its first performance Sunday at the society's West Philadelphia facility.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 27, 1996 | By Jack Lloyd, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
No, they're not installing mosh pits in the Superstar Theater at Resorts, but when the Brian Setzer Orchestra kicks in this weekend, it isn't likely there will be too many motionless bodies on the premises. Setzer, it should be understood, has his roots in, first, the new-wave music that came along in the late '70s and, then, as the spearhead of a rockabilly revival with his Stray Cats in the '80s. OK, so now he's into a big-band thing - 17 musicians strong, to be exact - but this delegation sports a musical dimension not associated with those wonderful units that were so hot back in the '30s and '40s.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 22, 1992 | By Jack Lloyd, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Harry Connick Jr. is getting up there. It seems like just yesterday when he made his impressive recording debut at the age of 18, and now he's 24. How time flies - especially when you're having fun. And make no mistake about it - Connick is having fun. Currently, Connick is on tour with his 17-piece band in support of his latest album, Blue Light, Red Light (Columbia Records) - a mission that will bring him into Philadelphia to kick off the new season at the Mann Music Center tonight through Sunday.
NEWS
March 1, 1987 | By Lisa Ellis, Inquirer Staff Writer
The Sammy Kaye Swing and Sway Orchestra and the Original Four Aces will highlight this summer's program of free concerts sponsored by the Pennypack Park Festival. Kaye will bring his big band to the band shell in the park July 16 for an 8 p.m. concert, said Louis Farinella, executive director of the 22-year-old festival. The Original Four Aces, a Philadelphia group that has been singing doo-wop music for three decades, will perform Aug. 13. Thirteen concerts are scheduled for this year's series, which will begin July 9 and end Aug. 27, Farinella said.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 11, 2008 | By SHAUN BRADY For the Daily News
For those inspired by Maria Schneider's example, the composer and bandleader has a dash of harsh reality to offer: "I don't think anybody would ever say having a big band is a good idea. Let me tell you, it's not a good idea. " Of course, like many an innovator before her, Schneider has resolutely failed to follow her own advice. The Maria Schneider Orchestra has survived the vicissitudes of the jazz business for almost 15 years - in fact, it has thrived. Schneider's latest CD, "Sky Blue," released through the artist-centered online music service artistShare, was one of last year's musical highlights.
NEWS
December 13, 2005 | By Kevin L. Carter FOR THE INQUIRER
In jazz - or in any music, for that matter - the big band is all but dead and gone, mostly for economic reasons. So it is always important to check the state of the big band when Wynton Marsalis' Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, the 800-pound gorilla of jazz big bands, comes to town. After all, the group is one of a handful of big bands that go on the road a substantial amount of the time, and due to Marsalis' status and the money of Lincoln Center, the group is now the best-known big orchestra in jazz.
ENTERTAINMENT
June 16, 1986 | By JERRY CARRIER, Daily News Staff Writer
A scorching afternoon at Penn's Landing. Feels like 95 in the shade, and there's no shade. All you want to do is lie back, suck down a few cold ones, and pray for a breeze. Surely, nobody's in the mood for excitement. So along comes the mighty Joe Sudler Swing Machine, and we're all in the mood. A most vital life-support system for a big-band style that's supposed to be dead, the Machine beat the heat, beat the humidity, and just plain beat it yesterday afternoon in a free JazzReach at the Mellon Jazz Festival concert that had the crowd steamed up and loving it. The Philadelphia-based Sudler Machine is probably the most muscular big band ever.
NEWS
August 2, 1989 | By Peter Van Allen, Special to The Inquirer
When veteran jazz singer Herb Jeffries comes to town, he causes quite a stir. In Burlington City Thursday, Mayor Herman T. Costello said he's a big fan of the man who used to tour with Duke Ellington. Big band leader and Willingboro resident Erskine Hawkins got together with Jeffries and enjoyed memories of the 1930s big band era. Three women at the Cafe Galleria just blushed after Jeffries flattered them repeatedly. On Thursday night, about 800 people at Riverfront Park greeted Jeffries warmly.
NEWS
August 4, 1994 | By Laura Genao, INQUIRER CORRESPONDENT
Delaware County Summer Festival presents Jim Palo's Commanders tonight. They will perform big-band music from the Dorsey-Miller-James era. Lorraine Sharkey is the group's vocalist. Rain date is Tuesday. On Saturday night, the Brandywine Ballet Company presents a performance of classical and contemporary dance pieces from their repertoire. Guest performers will dance to music from Aladdin and the Vienna Waltz. Rain date is Monday. The Jazz Ensemble (First U.S. Army Band) will perform medleys of jazz and big-band arrangements at the festival Sunday evening.
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NEWS
May 22, 2016 | By Shaun Brady, For The Inquirer
Just minutes after leading the newly formed Clef Club Youth Big Band through a rendition of David Raksin's haunting, romantic theme from Laura last Saturday, Marc Johnson sat in an adjacent classroom, laughing softly. Through the wall, he could hear the band, composed almost entirely of high-school-age musicians, tackling one of avant-garde composer/bandleader Bobby Zankel's notoriously thorny pieces. "Some kids would flat-out refuse to play that," said Johnson, an artist mentor at the Clef, pointing a thumb toward the next room.
NEWS
February 7, 2016 | By A.D. Amorosi, For The Inquirer
The streets of Philadelphia are littered with young bands and solo bards who ended their journey because success was improbable or fleeting, the road is rough, and making real art on a regular basis is difficult. Not Roxborough-born Ben Arnold, though. He's a lifer - a sensitive troubadour dude who has traveled and travailed, making his solo way through the independent-label, singer-songwriter world since 1993's Soar. He's lived to tell the tale of being signed to Ruffhouse/Columbia (1995's Almost Speechless )
ENTERTAINMENT
January 17, 2015 | By A.D. Amorosi, For The Inquirer
Toward the end of a thoroughly enjoyable interview, saxophonist Maceo Parker, who brings his show to the Merriam Theater, wishes to say his mission is all about one thing: "Love, love, love, and love . You're in Philly, right? That's all about brotherly love, so you know what I'm talking about. " Parker first became famous as James Brown's most soulful and credited sideman (how many times have you heard the Godfather of Soul shout for "Maceo"?). The saxophonist got his start in his hometown of Kinston, N.C. "My older brother Kellis played trombone, the other, younger one - Melvin - drums.
NEWS
July 11, 2014 | BY JONATHAN TAKIFF, Daily News Staff Writer takiffj@phillynews.com, 215-854-5960
WHAT KEEPS bands craving and competing to be part of the Vans Warped Tour - the caravan of contemporary music celebrating its 20th annual tour-stop today at the Susquehanna Bank Center, in Camden? Nearly 100 bands (!) will be playing on 10 different stages, for a crowd of "somewhere between 10- and 15,000," guesstimated Jess Bowen, drummer for the Summer Set, a Warped third timer. With ticket prices kept low ($45 at the gate), "nobody's getting rich on this tour," she added, with a laugh.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 8, 2014 | BY JONATHAN TAKIFF, Daily News Staff Writer takiffj@phillynews.com, 215-854-5960
AS musicians and educators, the gents in the Jost Project have a modest goal: only to turn the world on to the joys of jazz by sharing the secret code of improvisation. "If you want to pass my improv classes, you better be sure I can always hear the original tune that you're working from," group founder/vibraphonist Tony Miceli said, with a laugh. He teaches at the University of the Arts, Temple and Curtis. Yeah, that's the heart of jazz - working subtle variations and embellishments on a theme.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 30, 2014 | By Shaun Brady, For The Inquirer
It's a challenge to keep even a small band going for any length of time in the current jazz climate, and maintaining a big band that splits its time and membership between two cities is even harder. But pianist Orrin Evans has done just that, helming his Captain Black Big Band for more than four years since its beginnings at Chris' Jazz Cafe in late 2009. So why does he regularly corral 14 musicians from New York and Philly to tackle the ensemble's boisterous arrangements? "When I figure that out, I'll probably stop doing it," Evans said with a shrug last week over lunch at McMenamin's Tavern near his home in Mount Airy.
NEWS
October 5, 2013 | By Walter F. Naedele, Inquirer Staff Writer
Vincent R. Milando, 86, of Atlantic City, a former trumpeter and band leader, died of kidney failure Sunday, Sept. 29, at Cooper University Hospital in Camden. In the 1960s, he was the entertainment director for eight years for the Gaslight Club in Washington, and then for the Gaslight Club in Manhattan - not the folkie Gaslight in Greenwich Village - his daughter, Vinessa, said. The jobs, she said, "entailed choosing what was going to be played and who was in the band," she said.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 24, 2013
Sun Ra Arkestra It's Marshall Allen's 89th birthday on Saturday, and we're all invited to the party. Allen joined Sun Ra's Arkestra in 1958, and he has led the big band since 1995, following Sun Ra's passing in 1993. The saxophonist and flute player, who still lives in the Sun Ra Residence in Philadelphia, has kept the band active touring, recording new arrangements, and guesting with others (the Arkestra appears on the new album from U.K. band Primal Scream, for one). The band can number up to two dozen players, including bassist Charles Davis, who became part of the Arkestra in 1955 (he turned 80 this month)
ENTERTAINMENT
August 10, 2012 | By A.D. Amorosi, For The Inquirer
Phrases like "a musician's musician" and "a singer's singer" normally seem restrictive. Such acclaim can pigeonhole an artist, creating an air of insular complexity unappealing to the general public. Saying as much about vocalist Kevin Mahogany could never be such a slight. With a big, supple voice, blue swing styling, and an easygoing way with any rhythm placed before him, Mahogany has long been a critical darling and a crowd-pleaser. Currently, he can be found thrilling crowds with the good groove material of Next Time You See Me , his collaboration with his guitarist pal Dave Stryker and his organ trio.
NEWS
May 25, 2012 | BY JOHN F. Morrison
WHEN THE late Frank Rizzo was Philadelphia police commissioner, he wanted Donald Wilson to be his bodyguard. Although Don was fond of Rizzo, he had to turn him down. "I'm sorry," he said, "but I have music to play. " Don was a devoted cop for 22 years, but his first love was music — jazz, to be specific. He was a virtuoso on the piano and trumpet, and played in the police band and at the jazz clubs that once flourished in Philly, performing with John Coltrane and other notables of the jazz world.
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