Sunday August 19, 2018
JAZZ COMMUNITY BIG BAND
JAZZ COMMUNITY BIG BAND is an 18 piece big band playing the music of Count Basie, Duke Ellington and others. The band was established in 1976 by its late founder and director, trumpet player and music educator, Bill May. By the late 1970’s, the band had changed its name to Jazz Community Big Band. The Basie band, with its tight ensemble work and excellent dynamics, was the model upon which Bill built the band. For 12+ years, Jazz Community played weekly at several restaurants and supper clubs, as well as many outdoor festivals, street fairs, private events, and weddings throughout the Chicagoland area. With Bill's untimely passing in the fall of 1991, Jazz Community disbanded.
In the fall of 2011, under the leadership of Bill's sister, Marianne May, and with several charter members in tow, Jazz Community reunited for a one-time event to honor Bill on the twentieth anniversary of his passing and to celebrate the musical contributions he made to the many lives he touched. With that successful reunion under its belt, the band decided it was time to get back on the jazz scene. With Marianne at the helm, and co-music directors Phil Feo and Leo Kawczinski, Jazz Community is now back on track, swinging hard and delighting Chicagoland big band fans once again. www.jazzcommunitybigband.com or on Face Book: www.facebook.com/JazzCommunity
Original members of Jazz Community are: Dennis Trainor, alto II; Leo Kawczinski, tenor I; John Pausche, lead trumpet; Phil Feo, trumpet II; Christopher Surtz, trumpet IV; Randy Kulik, trumpet V; Jack Schmidt, lead trombone; Frank Gualtieri, trombone II; and Scott Fisher, trombone III. Newer members are: David Orlicz, lead alto; Andy Schlinder, tenor II; Steve Koerner, baritone sax; Ryan Adamsons, trumpet III; John McAllister, bass trombone; John Paluch, piano; Rodney Richardson, guitar; Dennis Morris, bass; and Kent Nicholson, drums. Members of the band are a diverse group, many of whom are music educators, clinicians, composers, arrangers and music copyists. The makeup of the band also includes members with regular everyday mundane jobs; you know the jobs that help make the world go ‘round, engineers, carpenters, IT directors, FedEx managers and program analysts.
Jazz Community members have toured the country and other parts of the world, including the Netherlands, France, Wales and Japan, performing in both jazz and classical genres. Jazz Community members have worked with artists such as, Daniel Barenboim, Leonard Bernstein, Donald Byrd, Ray Charles, Jimmy Heath, Lee Konitz, Yusef Lateef, Lou Rawls, Sir George Solti, Ira Sullivan and Phil Woods to name a few. Besides playing with Jazz Community members have played with or are currently with the following groups; Brass From the Past, Chicago Afro-Latin Jazz Ensemble, Chicago Bear Band, Chicago Jazz Orchestra, Chicago Metropolitan Jazz Orchestra, Chicago Sinfonietta, Guy Fricano Sextet, Jazz Consortium BB, Lyric Opera, New Orleans Mudcats, Pete Ellman BB, Random Acts of Jazz Quartet, Ravinia Festival Orchestra, Reunion Jazz