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!”
2021 Sunlife Uptown Waterloo Jazz Festival video
For a 2020 testimonial, please read Testimonial Roberts Onsite 2020.
Partners and Shoutouts:
In June, 2019, Glen Woodcock, Jazz FM 91.1 listed BBT’s recording “Evidence” as one of 14 albums keeping big band music alive. Read the article. Thank you Glen.
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.
Musical Director: Jimmy “T-Bone” Edwards
In September, 2021, as we pull through the Covid-19 Pandemic and reassemble, Jimmy Edwards has stepped forward to lead the band as musical director. Jimmy was no stranger to BBT having subbed in on many occassions with the trombone section. We have really come to appreciate his ear for musical balance, his deep knowledge of big band repertoire, his nuanced approach to musical direction and his encouraging and positive energy to take BBT to the next level. Once upon a time, he was the inaugural musical director of the Royal City Big Band and now we are thrilled to have him behind the baton as well as the occasional trombone solo to front the band.
We are grateful for the leadership of Robin Habermehl (2011-2018), Robin Jessome (2018) and Sam Meakin (2019) who lead us through 2 recordings receiving national plays and many successful collaborations with Canadian jazz icons Don Thompson, John MacLeod, and Michael Occhipinti.
Getting this 17-member group together for rehearsals and concerts is not an easy task.
alto, bari, clarinet, flute
alto sax, flute and clarinet
Friends of the band
Composer & arranger
vibes, writer and arranger
Dancers and Instructors
guest trumpet, arranger and writer
Mary Catherine McNinch-Pazzano
guitar, composer, arranger
Conductor, soprano, alto & tenor sax, vocals
During Covid-19 pandemic
Socially distanced practicing with vapour barriers to keep everyone safe.
Swing Dance for Roberts Onsite with BBT, Feb.1, 2020
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 Bestival, 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
A Big Band Christmas
Big Band Theory is excited to bring our Christmas Favourites to you once again at the Registry Theatre. This has become a wonderful tradition and partnership with the good folks of the Registry as well as the Books for Kids charity of the Waterloo Region Record. We’ll let you know more details as the time approaches. During these Covid days, we are remaining optimistic and flexible! We hope to be working with guest vocalists who will the joyful singing.
Big Band Christmas Matinee
Our Christmas matinee show will be a repeat of Saturday night.
BBT loves the Registry Theatre, not just because it is a wonderful venue; not just because the folks there are generous, artful, creative, empathetic and kind, but also because they inspire in us a spirit of optimiism and hope, even during a pandemic.
BBT returns to the Sunlife Uptown Waterloo Jazz Festival: 2022
The Sunlife Uptown Waterloo Jazz Festival, 2021 has been postponed and will reboot in July, 2022. We hope to see you then.