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:
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.
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: 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.
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
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
guitar, composer, arranger
Conductor, soprano, alto & tenor sax, vocals
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
Big Band Christmas with Avery Raquel
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.