Keeping up with Big Band

Keeping up with Big Band - October

QYO Big Band at Queen Street Mall
Sunday 28 October 12pm

Previous Events:

Masterclass with internationally acclaimed saxophonist Julian Arguelle

The QYO Big Band were treated to an exceptional musical experience with internationally acclaimed master musician Julian Arguelles directing a rehearsal workshop on Sunday 12 August, 2018 at the OMB.

Julian is an English jazz saxophonist. He is the Professor of Jazz Saxophone at the KUG Jazz Institute in Graz, Austrai. He also leads his own bands, touring as a sideman and arranging  and writing music worldwide.

The session with Julian was initiated as an educational experience for the QYO Big Band contributing to the musical development of the ensembles musicians. 

The workshop focused on improvisational soloing within the ensemble. Julian shared a quote stating Musos never stop learning the art of how to assemble the notes. It was great nights music making filled with much learning under an exceptionally talented musician tutelage.


Churchie ‘Under the Stars’ Concert with Tom Burlinson

The QYO Big Band participated in the annual ‘Churchie Jazz Under The Stars’ concert event on Friday evening 10 August.

The Big Band opened the evening with solo numbers ‘It Don’t Mean A Thing if it Aint Got that Swing’ and ‘Killing Me Softly’ to warm up an appreciative audience of approximately 700 people seated under the stars. What followed was a showcase of the music sections and talents of the Churchie music program which was exceptional. 

The main act of the evening was the accomplished international vocalist Mr Tom Burlinson who was accompanied by the QYO Big Band under the musical direction of the acclaimed Big Band aficionado and trumpet player, musician Mr Ralph Pyl. Tom sang all the well know swing and jazz standards from ‘For Once in My Life’, ‘Sway’, ‘LOVE’, and ‘Beyond the Sea’, many of which featured QYO Big Band musicians performing instrumental improvisational solos. A highlight was the vocal duet ‘Lady is a Tramp’ performed by Tom Burlinson and QYO Big Band songstress Jessica Spina. There were many other classic swing and jazz charts performed before Tom Burlinson concluded his performance with the timeless, New York New York. 

Ralph and Tom complimented the QYO Big Band on their professionalism and exceptional musicianship given the performance was put together on the back of a 1 hour sound check and rehearsal on the afternoon of the event. The QYO Big Band once again showcased their outstanding musical talents and were exemplary ambassadors for the QYO program.


Essentially Ellington Regional Big Band Festival

The QYO Big Band performed in the Essentially Ellington Regional Big Band Festival on Thursday evening 23 August.

The Essentially Ellington Festival is an initiative of The Jazz Music Institute in partnership with the New York based Jazz at the Lincoln Centre Program.

Big bands perform and are adjudicated by master musicians from the Jazz at the Lincoln Centre program. This years renowned artists and adjudicators were trombonist Vincent Gardner and percussion virtuoso Jerome Jennings. Both of whom are involved and teach in the world famous Juilliard School of Jazz Music, New York.

The QYO Big Band performed 3 charts Sugar Hill Penthouse arr. Duke Ellington; Brasillience arr. Duke Ellington and Deedles Blues arr. Frank Foster and featuring the QYO vocalist Jessica Spina. Following the performance the big band were treated to an intensive workshop with Vincent Gardner.

The adjudicators commented that QYO Big Bands performance demonstrated a high caliber of musical competency and musicianship.


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Lord Mayors Charitable Trust Gala Ball

The QYO Big Band participated in the 2018 Lord Mayors Charitable Trust Gala Ball at Brisbane City Hall on Saturday 1 September. The event was a fund raiser for the Brisbane City Lord Mayors Charitable Trust with all proceeds raised going to support the work of Young Care. The event was attended by over 500 guests and was themed around the concept of ‘Midnight in Paris’. The City Hall venue was transformed into a Parisian dreamland. The QYO Big Band partnered with Robert Clarks Legend House Productions on the cabaret style opening act which was a musical extravaganza. The Opening Act  involved the QYO Big Band supported by augmenting string players and timpanist along with 90 dancers from Dansing Dance Company, 8 vocalist and actors, and a piano accordion player presenting a musical spectacular based around Parisian theme music such as Overture to Gigi, Paris Holds the Key, Alouette, Thank Heavens for Little Girls, The Pink Panther, the Bold Gendarmes, No Regrets, and the Can Can. The Big Band also provided musical support for other acts throughout the evening such as piano accordion maestro who performed a scintillating rendition of Czardas. 

Later in the evening the Big Band provided musical support for vocalist Ellen Reed (Finalist in The Voice) as she presented two vocal items, La Vie En Rose and Diamonds Are A Girls Best Friend. The Big Band also presented 3 30minute solo sets of big band music standards during the course of the evenings entertainment. These sets featured the Big Bands vocalist Jessica Spina and the various instrumental soloists within the ensemble. 

The Brisbane Lord Mayor, Graham Quirk in addressing the audience in his speech, congratulated the QYO Big Band on their musical brilliance and on their high calibre professional performance. He then thanked the big band members for their contribution to the success of the event and paused for a photo with the QYO Big Band on stage. 

The event provided valuable professional development experience to the QYO big band musicians by participating in a professional performance setting. The Big Band musicians conducted themselves in a very professional manner and were exceptional ambassadors for the QYO program.


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