Big Band of the Week – New World Outreach Jazz Orchestra

In 2014 the idea of starting this big band came to trumpeter Ron Rolling after an inspiring performance by students from John Lamkin II’s B Sharp Academy. Rolling went to another trumpeter he had known since the mid-‘90s at Morgan State University, Terrance Gallop, saying, “We’ve got to put a band together to pass this on to the youth.” The trumpeters started the New World Outreach Jazz Orchestra (NWOJO), which became an incorporated non-profit, with both adult and youth big bands. | Read more>>

Big Band of the Week – Never Too Late Big Band

Norma Allman, the trombonist who led this band until her death last March at age 90, jokingly called it the Always Too Late band. But her son Mike, who also plays trombone, says that Never Too Late is a very apt name because the band gave several of its members the impetus to return to playing after long absences from their instruments. | Read more>>

Big Band of the Week – Mood Swings

It was difficult deciding whether to include Mood Swings in our series on jazz big bands. On the one hand, their book of classic jazz big band tunes is voluminous, featuring both instrumentals and vocal features. On the other hand, the argument against inclusion is summed up in their own self-description as a “rock/pop band in a big band body.” If you check the fifty audio tracks on their web site, there’s precious little jazz, aside from perhaps the Sinatra tunes and a few standards typically played by jazz bands, such as “Georgia,” “Teach Me Tonight,” and “When the Saints Go Marching In.” Maybe we should think of them as a potential jazz big band. | Read more>>

Big Band of the Week – The Melting Pot Big Band

Three years ago trumpeter Scott Stansfield put together a big band to make a CD, which they did after six months of rehearsal. When the project was over, some musicians said, “We’re not breaking up, are we?” Stansfield then realized an ambition he’d had since 1983, when, as a sixth grader, he heard the Stan Kenton Orchestra at Towson State College. | Read more>>

Big Band of the Week – Hank Levy Legacy Band

This big band’s entire repertoire consists of compositions and/or arrangements by Hank Levy. In case you are not familiar with that name, here is a short synopsis. Levy was a Baltimore saxophonist who played briefly with the famous Stan Kenton Orchestra in 1953, then returned to Baltimore. | Read more>>