There is always so much music below the surface, and so many hard-working folk making it happen…..
Saxophonist John Ongom writes to me about his community-based big band, directed by another LondonJazz reader, Angus Moncrieff. They’re a semi-pro band, and they’re at the White Hart in Mile End this Sunday night. Thanks for writing in, John, and have a good blow….
We are a mixed ability big band based in Leytonstone, East London. I established the band in January 2002 to provide a friendly setting in which like minded musicians can enjoy playing big band music. The band consists of various members ranging from retired school teachers to students and in between – i.e. working professionals in other professions apart from music.
In addition to that, we have very highly talented band members who enjoy playing with us, e.g.
– Andy Gangadeen of the The Bays on drums
– Angus Moncrieff, our musical director and conductor who has orchestrated ITV’s Primeval, Marple, BBC’s Dracula, Life Line
– Mark Jennett, A rising star on the UK jazz scene. Mark has recently released his debut recording The Way I Am on Nice Work Records. The album is produced by BBC Jazz Award Winner Anita Wardell and features some of Britain’s finest instrumentalists. The Evening Standard described him as an “In demand jazz singer”.
– Gabrielle Ghray, one of our other three vocalists. Gabrielle became a household name in France when in 2003 she reached the final of French “Pop Idol”.
The band repertoire consists of classic swing, soul, funk, latin and vocal numbers as performed by Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Ella Fitzgerald, Nat King Cole, Peggy Lee and Aretha Franklin.
We have a residency at The White Hart pub in Whitechapel were we play every 6 – 8 weeks and are booked to the end of the year.