KW Big Band Theory
Big Band classics and contemporary jazz in Kitchener/Waterloo!
This fantastic big band packs an irresistible whallop of musical entertainment — spirited, talented and fun!Stephen Preece, KW Jazz Room
About the Band
The Big Band Theory had its genesis in Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario, without any clear idea where this project might end up. And… WOW! what an explosion of sound when seventeen of Kitchener-Waterloo’s (and beyond) most talented jazzers showed up for that first rehearsal in October 2011. BBT has now finished 8 seasons of music making with a deep repertoire of period music from the swing era (Benny Goodman and Count Basie), contemporary big band arrangements (LAs Big Phat Band), 70s horn bands (Earth, Wind and Fire, Tower of Power) and is now working on a Christmas recording to be released in 2018. The KW Big Band Theory is an exciting band to hear live. Come check it out, and be prepared to be blown away.
As Ken Hadley, lead alto player says: “This band will part your hair!”
Partners and Shoutouts:
BBT CD’s (as well as Derek Hine’s CD) are now available at Ambrosia Corner Bakery at the corner of Frederick and Filbert Streets. Ambrosia Corner Bakery sells the most delicious baked goods, bean-to-bar chocolate and coffee around. They are incredibly supportive of local artisans and BBT is pleased to endorse their good work.
As well, Big Band Theory has partnered in 2018 with Hepcat Swing, a volunteer-run, not-for-profit organization committed to keeping the spirit of swing dance and music alive in Kitchener-Waterloo and contributing to the vibrant local art and culture scene. Hepcat Swing can provide you with a swing dance lesson for your event and is a perfect accompaniment to KW Big Band Theory’s dance set.
Musical Director: Robin Habermehl
Big Band Theory is lead by saxophonist & singer Robin Habermehl.
Robin has had a career spanning three and half decades of performing and teaching in Canada and abroad.
Robin started his career in the early 1970’s in Toronto, then moving to Ottawa in 1980 to join the Central Band of the Canadian Forces. In 1994, Robin moved back to the Golden Triangle where he now resides in Kitchener. Robin has performed in jazz festivals, rock concerts, and orchestra concerts throughout North America and Europe as a lead vocalist and instrumentalist.
Robin is also the owner of full-service music performance and education company Robin Reid Music.
Getting this 17-member group together for rehearsals and concerts is not an easy task.
alto, bari, clarinet, flute
alto sax, flute and clarinet
Conductor, soprano, alto & tenor sax, vocals
Friends of the band
Ambrosia Corner Bakery
CDs can be bought here!
Composer & arranger
vibes, writer and arranger
Dancers and Instructors
guest trumpet, arranger and writer
Mary Catherine McNinch-Pazzano
BBT with the Cambridge Symphony Orchestra and Derek Hines
Concert Photo by Chantal Bresse September 29, 2018
Rehearsal Photo by Paul Ellingham September 23, 2018
BBT at the Belmont Village Bestical, 2018
Photos by Susie Fowler, September 15, 2018
Big Band Christmas at the Registry Theatre, 2016
Uptown Waterloo Jazz Festival
July 19, 2014. With special guest Don Thompson!
Photos by Thomas Grandin.
Photos by Jeannine Barkhouse
Photos by Roy Barkhouse
Live at The Jazz Room
KW Big Band Theory is celebrating the end of 8 years of local contemporary, big band music. There have been many BBT collaborations over these first 8 years. They have hosted and played with Don Thompson with whom they recorded their debut album “Evidence”. Last season they shared the stage with John MacLeod of the Rex Hotel Jazz Orchestra. As well this year, BBT teamed up with the Cambridge Symphony Orchestra and Derek Hines for a tribute to Frank Sinatra.
For this special night, the band will be presenting big band arrangements of genre-resisting, JUNO award winning guitarist, composer, and band leader Michael Occhipinti. These arrangements were originally featured by the Neufeld – Occhipinti Jazz Orchestra (N.O.J.O.) back in 1995 – 2005 on 5 recordings each receiving Juno nominations and the 1995 self-titled debut album awarded Best Contemporary Jazz Recording. In 2010, N.O.J.O. explored the music of Pink Floyd’s “Dark Side of the Moon” masterpiece recording. KW Big Band Theory has been working hard to bring some of these arrangements to life for the KW jazz community. You are in for an interesting sonic ride with Occhipinti’s complex, adventurous, and sometimes humourous arrangements and BBT’s passioniate, expressive and often explosive sound.