A big band based in Grantham is picking up the plaudits as it brings a mix of swing classics and more modern arrangements to venues in town.
Grantham Rhythm and Blues orchestra (GRAB) was formed in its current guise just under a year ago and plays classics by icons such as Glenn Miller and Count Basie as well as more recent musical greats such as Quincy Jones.
The band’s next concert is on Sunday at Chameleon in High Street, Grantham, at 2.30pm. Admission is free. This will be a big band first for the venue and is an afternoon of swing for all ages.
Pete Storey, who directs the band and plays tenor sax, said: “There just weren’t any opportunities in Grantham for the accomplished amateur musician to play big band jazz. We decided to form the band to see what would happen. I was amazed by the talent that emerged from the area, to the extent that we now have a full 18 piece swing band.”
The band performed its first gig in the Conservative Club in May to a packed house and rapturous applause .
Band manager and baritone sax player Stuart Robinson said: “As soon as we had done that first gig we knew we had something special which could really showcase jazz talent from the Grantham area.”
GRAB was formed as a community music project and welcomes amateur musicians of an intermediate to advanced standard. The band comprises five saxophones, four trumpets, four trombones and a rhythm section of piano, guitar, bass and drums. Vocals are taken by Craig Martini who performs well-known numbers by Frank Sinatra, Bobby Darin and Michael Buble among others.
New players are welcome, especially those who would like to sit in on rehearsals at Grantham Conservative Club and experience playing in a big band.
More information about GRAB is available at www.face book.com/GRABOrchestra and www.facebook.com/Chameleon grantham