Modern Big Band

Modern Big Band Concerts


Modern Big Band is a genre that emerged in the 1960s as a contemporary revival of the traditional big band sound. It combines elements of jazz, swing, and popular music to create a unique and vibrant style. The origins of Modern Big Band can be traced back to the decline of the original big band era in the 1940s and 1950s.

During this time, many big bands disbanded due to financial difficulties and changing musical tastes. However, some musicians remained dedicated to the big band sound and sought ways to modernize it for a new audience. These musicians experimented with incorporating elements from other genres such as rock, funk, and Latin music into their arrangements.

One key characteristic of Modern Big Band is its use of complex compositions and arrangements. Unlike traditional big bands that relied heavily on improvisation, Modern Big Bands often feature intricate written parts for each instrument section. This allows for precise execution of complex harmonies and rhythms.

Another characteristic is the use of amplified instruments. With advancements in technology, electric guitars, keyboards, and synthesizers became common additions to big band setups. These instruments added a modern edge to the sound while still maintaining the core elements of brass and woodwind sections.

Over time, Modern Big Band has evolved further by incorporating influences from various musical styles such as fusion jazz, hip-hop, and even electronic music. This evolution has allowed for greater experimentation within the genre while still staying true to its roots.

Several significant artists have contributed to the development and popularity of Modern Big Band. One notable figure is Maria Schneider, whose album "Concert In The Garden" won a Grammy Award for Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album in 2005. Schneider's compositions are known for their lush orchestration and innovative use of harmony.

Another influential artist is Gordon Goodwin, who leads his own ensemble called Gordon Goodwin's Big Phat Band. Their album "Life In The Bubble" won a Grammy Award for Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album in 2015.


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