All Girl Big Band will carouse the cosmos
Amongst a galaxy of stars at the 50th Manawatu Jazz Festival one of them is already illuminating the night sky.
It was only formed last year but is already turning heads.
The All Girl Big Band is the only one of its kind in New Zealand and was formed at the beginning of 2016 to provide an opportunity for talented female jazz musicians to come together and play.
The 18-member band will showcase their talent with a tribute to the late, great Natalie Cole at the Globe on Friday, June 2 at 8pm. They debuted with their Natalie Cole Tribute
Concert at the 2016 Christchurch Big Band Festival to a standing ovation and have had stunning success with gigs at Jazz After Work and the Swingtown Rebels.
Most of the band members are professional musicians or music teachers with a wide range of ages, from secondary school students to the most mature member Jill Fenton (77) who took up the trombone in her late 40s.
‘‘The band has a great vibe and everyone brings a super energetic and positive nature to our rehearsals and concerts,’’ says big band member, Kate Taylor.
‘‘We love playing in bands with the lads however the idea was to celebrate the female musicians of the city.’’
‘‘We feel privileged to be able to fill the numbers of a full 18-piece big band.’’
Taylor, who’s the vocal tutor at Ara Music Arts, first developed the idea for an All Girl Big Band alongside saxophonist and music director Lana Law.
At first it seemed a ‘‘crazy out of the box idea,’’ Kate said but then they realised they knew enough women who could comprise such a band.
They’ll be making their North Island debut at the Manawatu Jazz Festival by performing songs from Natalie Cole’s Unforgettable album – in doing so they’ll demonstrate their talent and versatility.
The All Girl Big Band performs at The Globe on Friday, June 2 at 8pm. Bookings at The Globe.