KW Big Band Theory

Big Band classics and contemporary jazz in Kitchener/Waterloo!

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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:

Image result for jazz FM 91.1 glen woodcockIn 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.

 

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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.

 

hepcat-swing-square-logo_RGBAs well, Big Band Theory has partnered in 2018 with Hepcat Swinga 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.

Meet the Musical Director Meet the band

Musical Director: A trombone tandum team

Big Band Theory thanks Robin Habermehl (sax, vocals) for his 8 years of leadership since the band’s inception. Robin has taken leave from the band as conductor but don’t fret, you may see him from time to time sitting in the saxophone section.

As of September, 2019, our beloved Robin is being replaced by a trombone tandum team of Robin Jessome and Sam Meakin who will share two hats: principal trombone chair and conductor until Christmas. Our new musical leadership brings not only fabulous depth to the trombone section as well as broadening the arranging and writing expertise of the band.

We are excited for this new direction in the band, but oh so grateful for Robin Habermehl’s leadership since 2011 which saw us through 2 recordings receiving national play and many successful collaborations with Canadian jazz icons.

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Meet the band

Band Members

Getting this 17-member group together for rehearsals and concerts is not an easy task.


Saxophone

gabriella ellingham

Gabriella Ellingham

alto, bari, clarinet, flute

ken-foster

Ken Foster

tenor saxophone

ken-hadley

Ken Hadley

alto sax, flute and clarinet

taylor-ellingham

Taylor Ellingham

Baritone sax

tim-moher

Tim Moher

tenor sax


Trumpet

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Alan Ralston

Kevin-Kalbfleisch

Kevin Kalbfleisch

randy-brown

Randy Brown

rob-gellner

Rob Gellner


Trombone

katherine-scobie

Kathryn Scobie

paul-ellingham

Paul Ellingham

Bass trombone

robin-jessome

Robin Jessome

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Sam Meakin

steve-hagedorn

Steve Hagedorn


Rhythm Section

Andy Mac

Andy Macpherson

Drums

greg-pryor

Greg Prior

Bass

jef daniels

Jeff Daniels

Piano

Lukas-Jazz-Room-small

Lukas Bouda

guitar


Friends of the band

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Ambrosia Corner Bakery

CDs can be bought here!

Andriy-Tykhonov

Andriy Tykhonov

Piano, keyboard

bruce-gordon

Bruce Gordon

Composer & arranger

Chris-Alcantara

Chris Alcantara

Trumpet

david-cheon

David Cheon

guitar

Derek-Hines

Derek Hines

vocalist

Don Thompson. Photo by Thomas Grandin

Don Thompson

vibes, writer and arranger

greg dozois headshot

Greg Dozois

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Hepcat Swing

Dancers and Instructors

John-MacLeod-1-200x300

John MacLeod

guest trumpet, arranger and writer

joni-nehrita-e1513394744181 (1)

Joni NehRita

vocalist

keith bilinsky

Keith Bilinsky

trombone

mary catherine

Mary Catherine McNinch-Pazzano

vocalist

michael-occhipinti-photo

Michael Occhipinti

guitar, composer, arranger

randy lyghht

Randy Light

vocalist

rb

Rebecca Binnendyk

vocalist

robin-habermehl

Robin Habermehl

Conductor, soprano, alto & tenor sax, vocals

ron-schirm

Ron Schirm

Trombone

ryan-cassidy

Ryan Cassidy

Tenor sax

Stephen-Zurakowsky

Stephen Zurakowsky

Guitar

steve mcdade

Steve McDade

trumpet

Tim Louis Snowflakes in Bloom 02

Tim Louis

vocalist, piano

Photos

Upcoming Shows

2019

Dec 14, 8:00

Big Band Christmas with Avery Raquel

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This annual fund-raiser for The Waterloo Region Record’s “Books for Kids” charity is always a sold-out event. Our guest this year will be Avery Raquel (Toronto) who will bring her huge R&B and jazz voice to the stage for a number of Christmas Favourites. You can find out more about Avery from her website and learn about why BBT is so excited to invite her to join us on one of our favourite local stages.

Dec 15, 3:00

Big Band Christmas with Avery Raquel (matinee)

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This is a matinee show in case you missed the evening show the previous night.

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