Playing your favourite tunes from the swinging big band era with classic vocals from the greats
A Dash Of Dixie,
A Spoonful Of Boogie,
A Spice Of Latin,
All Stirred And Cooked Until Swinging!
The LET'S DANCE Big Band is made up of 5 saxes and woodwinds, 3 trumpets, 3 trombones and 3 rhythm, 14 in all. We love to play all the classic big band favourites of Goodman - his "Lets Dance" is our theme tune and policy, Ellington, Basie, Shaw, Herman, Miller, Dorsey, James etc.. We have many authentic charts from these great bands in addition to an extensive library of standards and some of the more modern tunes plus, many charts for the Jive, Swing and Lindy Hop dances now all the rage. We also have a good selection of Latin favourites and an Old Time Ballroom dance book. We have 2 great vocalists in Anna Struth and Vince Bene who sing songs from Ella Fitzgerald, Linda Ronstadt, Shirley Bassey, Natalie and Nat King Cole, Frank Sinatra, Bobby Darin and Joe Williams amongst others.
A 150 watt P.A. sound system can be provided if required also.
The Bands History
The Big Band was originally formed in 1981 and played a number of "gigs", weddings, balls, dinner dances and concerts. After a few years we decided to form an Octet from the band as a Big Band was not financially attractive for the times.
However over recent years there has been a resurgence of interest in the music of the 30's and 40's thanks to the broadcasting of our kind of music by public community radio stations. We reformed the bigger band to successfully audition for the Lilydale International venue for dinner dances in 1994. Since then we have done seasons at a number of Melbourne Hotels such as the Whitehorse Inn Hotel and the Governor Hotham Hotel in Hawthorn and the Waltzing Matilda Hotel in Springvale as well as special functions at some of Melbournes elite Hotels including the Palladium Room in the Crown Casino. Currently we have public gigs at the East Malvern RSL and an occasional special at the Astor Theatre.
Over the years we have played for charity groups such as Community Aid Abroad, a number of Rotary Club Balls, RSL functions and the Musicians Benefit Fund. Also we have played for many local council concerts and special events.
Spreading the Gospel of Swing we have also played live to air,"warts and all", on community radio 3CR 855 AM and Southern FM 88.3 to very enthusiastic audiences.
The band is made up of five saxophonists ( all doubling on flutes and clarinets ), a brass section of three trumpets, three trombones and a rhythm section of piano, double bass and drums, 14 in all. There is a good mix of young and older age members all with a broad experience ranging from university music training to many years in the Town Hall dance scene, theatre pit, jazz and orchestral areas.
Vocalists We have always been fortunate to have excellent vocalists with the band. Anna Struth, has been with us for many years now and few vocalists can sing so well in the Billie Holiday, Ella, Natalie style as she! Paul Dunn is Mr. 'Suavo' who not only s[w]ings up a storm but is also a very capable instrumentalist . Paul and Anna do some great duets [refer to our song list below] and now we have a girl vocal trio, the JAS Sisters from within the band with Su and Jenny teaming up with Anna! Then to top it off the band join in on some songs !!
The arrangements, "charts", we use are in most cases authentic renditions from t