Putting the 'BIG'
back in Big Band, Unique female Band Leader and Conductor 'Debbie Curtis' drove the band hard over four filming
& sound recording sessions throughout the day in front of an invited crowd.
Featured vocalist 'John Miller' nephew of the legendary 'Glenn Miller' charmed the audience
of all ages with his huge personality, humour and slick vocal performance.
Debbie creatively conducted the 16 strong band with a style so obviously inherited from her late father
and former leader of the band 'Eddie Curtis' adding well oiled solo vocals as well as duets with John Miller.
The band made from the cream of the
UK's Jazz, Swing, Big Band & Pop musicians quickly settled into what was to be a hard days play!
Approximately 50 College staff and Students crewed the filming and
sound recording with a professionalism that you would expect to get from the BBC. Director
Jordan Lopez skilfully mastering the production from his position in the monitoring room, with a well disciplined crew
of camera operators, floor managers and runners. The purpose built set, designed with the band's brochure styling in mind
was brightly lit through a fine misty haze effect.
A shoot on this scale could easily struggle to run on schedule, but it did, starting just 15 minutes late and finishing
bang on time at 6pm!
the audience were clearly astounded to experience the massive sound of a Big Band for the first time as well as recognising
some of the faces in the line-up that they have seen in performance with some of their modern pop hero's.
John Miller asked the students if they had heard of Glenn Miller, obviously
pleased when the majority raised their hands, he went on to explain to them that he was his nephew, this clearly delighted
the young crowd even further.
the line up were Bob Howard (Drums) Geoff Eales (Piano) & Dave Olney (String Bass) for a Rhythm Section that
really kicked. A smooth slick Saxophone section included Roy Willox, Loren Hignell, Mark Alloway & Paul Jones. Heading
up a powerful Trumpet Section was Bob Cutting with Martin Shaw, Mark White & Mike Nickell and for the sleek Trombones
Lee Hallam, Dave Pearce, Bob Wilson & Robin Turner.
Debbie's approach to Big Band Swing is to aim at an audience of all ages, particularly the younger
audience. As with most musical styles, when Big Band Swing first emerged all those years ago it was frowned upon
by many as 'Emotionally Disturbing'. The music peaked as all music does but it has never gone away and more recently
it is clear that a younger audience, given the opportunity, are keen to hear it delivered by a younger bandleader or artist.
Robbie Williams, Jamie Cullum, Katie Melua and Amy Winehouse being classic examples of how Big Band Jazz is being
accepted again by newer generations, programmes like the X Factor adding to the momentum.