The Big Beer Band with Special Guest Vocalists – OPENING PARTY


29 Apr 2023
Event Passed


7:45 pm - 10:00 pm



The (Infamous) Big Beer Band – 18 Piece

With Special Guest Vocalists:
Jessica Hynes, Katie Bradley, Nina Clark and Sophia Stutchbury

LIVE at The Quarterhouse for The BIG Opening Weekend of Folkestone MIM Festival – Saturday 29th April 2023

The Big Beer Band – 18 Piece

The Big Beer Band was formed in October 1989 and has played to audiences every Monday night for more than 30 years, nearly. Its members are alumni of NYJO, London music colleges, West End players, and semi-pro jazz musicians from London and the southeast.

We are a contemporary big band celebrating the greatest music from the most iconic arrangers and bands over the last 50 years. These include Ellington, Basie, Rich, Ferguson, Mingus, Goodwin, Severinsen, GRP, and UNT to mention a few. Our extensive music library is both challenging and exciting – much of the music is new, so who knows what to expect! The band is well-known in London musical circles, West End pro players have heard of us, and many of them have played with us as well. This of course has the added benefit of giving the band a large pool from which to draw its talent.

Contemporary Big band jazz is a curious art form, relying on apparently opposing ideas of individualism and teamwork. It is here many bands fail by assembling a vast arsenal of all-star soloists and the team spirit can be undermined by strong differences of musical opinion on the bandstand. On occasions, the band can be so tightly drilled that its precision can be likened to that of a military ensemble and the crucial elements of swing and spontaneity are lost. A successful big band, therefore, is one which treads the fine line between these two poles with the result that the whole becomes greater than the sum of the parts.

There is no shortage of jazz talent within its ranks many of the players have been written up in the press as being the stars of their particular instruments. The crucial difference is that we have been playing together for more than 30 years.

Over this time the band has developed a uniquely relaxed style, becoming a social as well as musical institution for its members. It is easy to see that a band which enjoys itself offstage will make its audiences enjoy it onstage.

Whether playing a Count Basie-style swing number or the latest burner from the US, the infectious beat and pervasive good feeling will delight any audience.

As BB King once said: “If this don’t turn you on, you ain’t got switches.”



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