Big band orchestra music

Black composers and musicians

Dizzy Gillespie 

Black composers and jazz standards are almost always connected. Mention Dizzy Gillespie and Night in Tunisia comes to mind. This black composer always pleases.

Dizzy got his nickname because he was always clowning around. Arguably Dizzy Gillespie. the greatest jazz trumpeter of his time, lives on in our memories. 

Bennie Golson

Came to prominence with the big bands of Lionel Hampton and Dizzy Gillespie. From the late 1960s through the 1970s Golson was in demand as an arranger for film and television and thus was less active as a performer, but he and Farmer reformed the Jazztet in 1982. Many of Golson’s compositions have become listen here to his Whisper Not.


Edward Kennedy “Duke” Ellington

 American composer, pianist, and leader of a jazz orchestra, which he led from 1923 until his death over a career spanning more than six decades.

Although widely considered to have been a pivotal figure in the history of jazz, Ellington embraced the phrase “beyond category” as a liberating principle and referred to his music as part of the more general category of American Music rather than to a musical genre such as jazz

Furthermore, all music must answer this question – should I or do I have the time to hear it. I suggest you make the time to listen to this big-band interpretation of Dizzy Gillespie’s .

Hear Night in Tunisia Click Picture

Every Trumpet player  would like to play like this guy.

Big band orchestra music

Ellington Orchestra

Duke Ellington orchestra produced some of the greatest Big band orchestra music. Moreover, musicians who played with the Ellington orchestra were held in high esteem. Ellington was based in New York City from the mid-1920’s, because his orchestra had a long-term gig at the Cotton Club in Harlem. Although, later-on the Ellington Orchestra frequently toured. Moreover, the Ellington Orchestra became the leading jazz ambassador for the USA.

Orchestra music Big band

Duke was a wonderful pianist and his Big band played and recorded many hits over 3 decades. But Satin Doll is perhaps his most famous. So sit back or dance. Either way you’ll enjoy my swingin’ big band arrangement of Satin Doll

Click picture to hear Satin Doll

satin doll beer

Cool jazz Milestones

photograph of jazz trumpet player Clifford Brown

Click picture above live performance of Joy Spring

Cool jazz is synonymous with West Coast Jazz. To the contrary, West Coast Jazz is a code word. Furthermore, the East Coast Hard Bop School musicians dominated by blacks expressed prejudice against white musicians claiming “they don’t have soul”. West coast jazz music sprung-up as a reaction to black prejudice. John Lewis pianist and composer wrote Milestones for jazz trumpeter Miles Davis. Unfortunately Miles rejected it.

Furthermore, Cool Jazz’s intricate melodies, restless harmony and chord dissonance sent the public looking for something else, and they found Rock n Roll. Jazz music would never re-gain the popular support it had enjoyed during the “Swing Era”.

John Lewis 

John Aaron Lewis (May 3, 1920 – March 29, 2001) was an American jazz pianist, composer and arranger, best known as the founder and musical director of the Modern Jazz Quartet

Click picture hear Milestones