Big Band of the Week – Crabtowne Big Band

Founded in 1981 by baritone saxophonist Mike Mileski, Crabtowne Big Band has been led since 2012 by sax and clarinet player Bill Yakaitis, the only member left from the band’s inception. That’s not the only tribute to Yakaitis’s staying power: he also taught elementary band in Anne Arundel County for 47 years! | Read more>>

Big Band of the Week – Columbia Jazz Band

Visit the bustling website of the Columbia Jazz Band ( and you’ll get a feel for the fast-paced, globetrotting lifestyle of this swinging 22-piece ensemble. There are video clips from the band’s international tours and audio tracks from its two CDs, with the music ranging from Swing Era classics such as “Tuxedo Junction” and “Jumpin’ at the Woodside” to Latin-infused bebop standards like “A Night in Tunisia,” bluesy 1960s tunes like “Watermelon Man,” and cool bossa novas such as “Quiet Nights of Quiet Stars.” There are also summaries and photos of recent performances in the Baltimore-Washington area, and notices about upcoming local gigs, including an April 27 concert titled “April in Paris: The Music of Count Basie.” The April concert has special significance for the band, explains CJB manager Bob Frantz, who also plays bass trombone with the group: “This is the first time the CJB has organized [its own] ticketed performance,” he notes. | Read more>>

Big Band of the Week – Columbia Big Band

In 2015 many members of the Columbia Concert Band wanted to play jazz, but Columbia Jazz Band was full, so they created Columbia Big Band and affiliated it with the aforementioned concert band. Columbia Big Band has since been directed by Robert Miller and managed by Tom Drake. | Read more>>

Big Band of the Week – Blues in the Night Orchestra

Like many jazz bands, the Blues in the Night Orchestra is dedicated to the memory of a beloved bandleader. That leader was Richard Rice, the saxophonist who started the band in 2010 and passed away from cancer in 2013. In November of 2014, trumpeter Tom Walsh and conductor Tom Crawford re-started the band in Rice’s honor, rehearsing in a garage in Bel Air. | Read more>>

Big Band of the Week – Blue Moon Big Band

Blue Moon Big Band Celebrates 20 Swinging Years In the spring of 1998, Robert and Teresa Leonard took out a second mortgage on their home in Taneytown, MD. They needed the money because they were starting a big band, like the nineteen-piece swing bands they loved growing up, with names like Glenn Miller and Count Basie. | Read more>>