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 11 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). With two albums under their belt (“Evidence”, featuring Don Thompson and “A Swinging Joy”, Christmas) 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.
Big Band Theory is excited to be the recipient of a Waterloo Regional Arts Grant for 2022. We will be recording an album that features Canadian big band composers and arrangers. Watch for a summer or fall release!
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
musical director, trombone
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
Getting ready for a Christmas Show (November, 2021)
BBT in the Barn
During Covid-19 pandemic
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
BBT returns to the Sunlife Uptown Waterloo Jazz Festival: 2022
The Sunlife Uptown Waterloo Jazz Festival, 2022 is ON!
BBT is looking forward to performing predominantly Canadian arrangements and compositions for jazz orchestra at this show.