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!”

2021 Sunlife Uptown Waterloo Jazz Festival video

For a 2020 testimonial, please read Testimonial Roberts Onsite 2020.

Partners and Shoutouts:

Glen-Woodcock

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 has been pleased to work with Hep Cat Swing and the Hep Cat Hoppers, both reputable swing dance facilitators in the Waterloo Region who always augment the excitement of any swing dance.

Meet the Musical Director Meet the band

Musical Director: Jimmy “T-Bone” Edwards

 

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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.

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

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Ken Hadley

alto sax, flute and clarinet

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Taylor Ellingham

Baritone sax

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Tim Moher

tenor sax


Trumpet

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Alan Ralston

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Greg Dozois

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Paul Fedherau

trumpet

randy-brown

Randy Brown


Trombone

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Eric Probst

bass trombone

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Jim Edwards

katherine-scobie

Kathryn Scobie

paul-ellingham

Paul Ellingham

Bass trombone

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Robin Jessome

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Sam Meakin

steve-hagedorn

Steve Hagedorn


Rhythm Section

Andy Mac

Andy Macpherson

Drums

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Caleb Khuu

guitar

Greg Prior

Greg Prior

Bass

jef daniels

Jeff Daniels

Piano


Friends of the band

Andriy-Tykhonov

Andriy Tykhonov

Piano, keyboard

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Bob Phillips

trombone

bruce-gordon

Bruce Gordon

Composer & arranger

Chris-Alcantara

Chris Alcantara

Trumpet

dan brennan

Dan Brennan

bass

david-cheon

David Cheon

guitar

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Dennis Rondeau

bass

Derek Hines

Derek Hines

vocalist

Don Thompson. Photo by Thomas Grandin

Don Thompson

vibes, writer and arranger

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Doug Stinson

trumpet

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Eric Probst

bass trombone

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Hepcat Swing

Dancers and Instructors

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John MacLeod

guest trumpet, arranger and writer

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Joni NehRita

vocalist

keith bilinsky

Keith Bilinsky

trombone

Kevin-Kalbfleisch

Kevin Kalbfleisch

trumpet

Lukas-Jazz-Room-small

Lukas Bouda

guitar

mary catherine

Mary Catherine McNinch-Pazzano

vocalist

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Michael Occhipinti

guitar, composer, arranger

randy lyghht

Randy Lyght

vocalist

rb

Rebecca Binnendyk

vocalist

rob-gellner

Rob Gellner

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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

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Tim Louis

vocalist, piano

Photos

Upcoming Shows

2021

Dec 18, 8:00 PM

A Big Band Christmas

cost: 25
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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 Theatre. Proceeds from this concert will go towards the Waterloo Region Record’s Kids to Camp fund. BBT will be joined by the talented Nathan Martin. Tickets are $25 and available from the Registry Theatre’s Website.

Dec 19, 3:00 PM

Big Band Christmas Matinee

living artfully registry theatre

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 optimism and hope, even during a pandemic.

2022

Jul 1

BBT returns to the Sunlife Uptown Waterloo Jazz Festival: 2022

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The Sunlife Uptown Waterloo Jazz Festival, 2021 has been postponed and will reboot in July, 2022. We hope to see you then.

Photo by Jeannine Barkhouse.

Photo by Jeannine Barkhouse.

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