Very excited about heading into the winter months. Unlike the future weather, performances and musical happenings are heating up. First, The Pocket Kings have a handful of dates through November and December along with a newer project, Stuck on Blue. These projects are very special to me, and I think you can see why upon hearing us live so run over to my "Itinerary" page and see where we will be and when.
In addition to regular performances, I wanted to write a little bit about big band music today and it's place here in the Fox Valley. I was extremely fortunate to join a local big band during my senior year of high school in Oshkosh. This opportunity was probably the best musical situation I had put myself into during my entire high school years. Every other week we performed and sight-read between 20-25 tunes for our regular gig. As a high school student developing my sense of swing, ability to drive a band, and reading chops this helped me grow tremendously and put me ahead of the game entering my freshman year of college. I also had the privilege to at one point share the stage with another great local band who I had seen perform many times on my own. This was part of a contest sponsored by the Fox Jazz Festival, I also found playing with this professional band very rewarding.
I bring this all up because this month I will have the great fortunate to perform with both of these groups again. The Lighthouse Big Band will be performing on Nov. 10th from 7:30-10 pm at Backstage Bar & Grill in Fond Du Lac, and then the following Tuesday the Big Band Reunion performs at Franks Pizza Palace in Appleton from 7:30 - 9 pm. I am extremely exited to join both bands for a performance this month. In addition to performances with these great groups, I get to play with my own big band, Water City Jazz Orchestra again on Nov. 30th from 8-10 pm at Manila Resto in Oshkosh.
Big band music is alive and well in the Fox Valley and its an extremely important segment in the lineage of jazz music. Jazz musicians still strive to play with big bands as much as possible even though they can be the least "profitable" gigs. Big band music challenges musicians to work in a large ensemble (15-18 pieces) and stay on par through sometimes difficult charts to navigate. I am excited to make this month a big band trifecta for myself!