B Sharp Big Band
Swing & Jazz available for hire, based in Victoria
The B# Big Band is Melbourne’s most exciting swingin’ Big Band – just ask their biggest fan, James Morrison! They’re bringing a fresh, invigorating sound to Melbourne and casting a spell on new audiences with every performance. The B# sound has certainly got feet a-tappin’ and hearts a-poundin’ all over town!
15 years in the dreaming and 1 year in the making, B# launched in September of 2003 to an audience of over 500 Big Band swing lovers at Melbourne’s Forum Theatre.
The founder and manger, Henry K, was keen to pull together some of Australia’s best individual jazz performers to perform the classic arrangements of Basie, Ellington, Goodman, Miller and other Big Cats of the 30’s, 40’s & 50’s. Many of the arrangements B# has acquired, or had carefully arranged, are well known classics! Some have for many years been ‘lost’ classics, not performed by other Big Bands around Melbourne, and rarely in Australia, if at all.
B# are determined to resuscitate these infectious tunes with a fresh twist, exposing new audiences to the lush, invigorating sound that made Big Band swing addictive to swing ears then, and now again.
To effectively perform these exciting and complex tunes, B# has cajoled some of the most passionate musicians of international standing to lend their expertise and talent. The band understands the important nuances of Big Band swing and what sets it apart. The lion’s share of B#‘s arrangements are for a 17 piece Big Band – and they take’ it to the stage that way, just as the original arrangers intended. That means a big, slick, energised sound, with more than a nod to the particular acoustic style of the era. However, if a smaller version of B# is what you’re after, then the 10 piece B# ‘Little’ Big Band is the perfect alternative solution!
The band’s audio-visual demo CD provides a taste of both their highly regarded sound and sharp presentation standards. From the moment the curtain draws back, the band’s striking presentation - consisting of full, new, 1940’s style outfits and their custom built, deco inspired music stands - gives the audience a taste of what’s to come. But it’s only after one considers the exceptional talent that dons each outfit and occupies each stand, that the full exciting potential of this band is realised.
The band has hosted the ‘cat’s pajamas’ of vocal talent, including Nina Ferro, Emma Franz, David Williamson, Julie O’Hara, Eugene Hamilton, David Dean (aka Dean’s Martini) and Bob Valentine. Ross Wilson and Joe Camilleri have also featured as guest vocalists. And speaking of honoured guests, James Morrison has performed three times with the band and has had this to say about them:
"When I'm in Melbourne, there's only one Big Band I want on stage with me - B#!"
“Melbourne hasn't known a swinging Big Band like this for a long time”
Little wonder B# has previously been invited to launch The Melbourne International Jazz Festival, entertain the crème of Melbourne society at Mark Webber’s Crown Palladium Charity Ball, and perform for many other significant corporate functions. In addition, the band has perfromed live to air on ABC radio, and staged many public performances. B# has performed at prestigious venues such as The Forum, Ormond Hall, Crown Casino, The Park Hyatt and The Grand Hyatt.
In addition to James Morrison’s endorsements, testimonials are available from clients and venue managers that the band has worked with. B# also has strong relationships with experienced and reliable suppliers of services that allow the band to shine, including a highly qualified sound engineer, stage management crew, dance performance troupes, graphic designer and photographer.
So go on… check ‘em out, and then let B# get your joint jumpin’ with their stylish jaz sound!