Thankyou to the wonderfully supportive group of people who came to the most recent concert, and the last one for 2014, at The Ellington Jazz Club on the evening of Tuesday December 2.
As promised, the Hills Big Band filled up the stage with armfuls of different instruments, and presented two sets of "real" big band music. Some hits of the evening were "Night and Day", "Come Fly With Me" and "Alright Ok You Win" featuring vocalists Lenny Twigg and Mel Whisson. The repertoire for the evening covered latin, swing, pop, blues and even the funky number "Only So Much Oil In The Ground" by Tower of Power.
Steve Martin played a pure and innocent solo trombone, escaping the clutches of the salacious saxophones in "A Country Boy", and Jes Grey featured on tenor saxophone; "In a Sentimental Mood".
The audience and band were amused by Musical Director Kieran Hurley's fondness for all things Bond (but perhaps only up to and including Sean Connery's last film as the legendary secret agent). We were treated to a brief introduction to the various instruments in the band, courtesy of Kieran, with particular reference to the trombone. Kieran let us in on the big secret of where the trombone sits amongst all other instruments, due to its grace and intelligence and despite its resemblance to garden irrigation equipment. Who would have thought?
The performance was also a celebratory last concert for Arthur Robinson, as he leaves the Hills Big Band to concentrate on many other creative endeavours. But we reckon he'll be back!
The Hills Big Band played on Sunday evening, 23 November 2014, at the Jazz Fremantle headquarters (64 High Street) to an enthusiastic audience.
The next public performance of the Hills Big Band will be at Jazz Fremantle (Inc) on Sunday 23 November.
The 51st Darlington Arts Festival was a great success.
The whole oval was a mass of marquees, displays and entertainment with people milling around enjoying the cool spring weather.
The Hills Big Band played on the Main Stage on Sunday 2 November, to an enthusiastic audience.
The set included jazz favourites such as "Tuxedo Junction" and "Night and Day".
Much to the band's relief, there was no interruption from rain, windstorm or flies.
The first weekend in November sees the Darlington Arts Festival spring into action. This fun-packed festival offers lots of different activities such as workshops, art exhibitions and live entertainment.
Looking for a great activity for Sunday October 5th? Come and "Walk the Zig Zag" at Gooseberry Hill, near Kalamunda. The 3km scenic route winds its way down the hill, with live entertainment including the Hills Big Band, plus food stalls, camel rides and other family activities along the way. This event is free!
The Northbridge Piazza Live, on 27 April 2014, started well.
Café Jazz opened the concert with a sizzling set.
Gary introduced the Hills Big Band and expressed a desire for a continuation of the sunny weather, to match the fine music about to be performed.
The Hills Big Band launched into their opening tune “Splanky” (composed by Neal Hefti, arranged by Sammy Nestico) featuring solos from Arthur (Alto Saxophone) (standing with his back to the camera, far left),
Steve (Trombone) (out of camera view, but that's his trombone slide on the right)
and Jes (Tenor Saxophone).
A few raindrops falling here and there - perhaps this would be just a very quick light shower, hardly noticeable. That would be ok, wouldn't it? Perhaps not.
It soon became apparent that the weather gods had other ideas for this concert - the sky darkening, heavy raindrops becoming more constant. Oh dear.
The front of the stage quickly became a mess of puddles as the rain increased. Quick-thinking sound technicians cut the power to prevent damaging electrical equipment, or worse, electrocuting musicians. Can't have that.
Simultaneously, members of the Hills Big Band suddenly noticed Kieran (Musical Director) adding a novel instruction to his conducting skillset - abandon stage! Everyone grabbing what they could, retreating to the shelter at the rear of the stage, and nearby greenroom, to dry off and assess damage.
In a typical ironic twist, the rain disappeared after five minutes, returning the day to its former beautiful sunshine with occasional patches of cloud. But the show could not go on, because the PA speakers and all the rest of the sound equipment at the front of stage were sodden beyond safety limits.
March 1st turned out to be an overly warm Saturday afternoon for the concert in Northam's Bernard Park. Nevertheless, an enthusiastic crowd gathered with eskies and camping chairs to enjoy the riverside shade and Hills Big Band.
The next performance of the Hills Big Band will be part of Northam's "Summer Concerts in the Park". An evening of free outdoor entertainment in Bernard Park, Northam, on Saturday 1st March sees the Hills Big Band kicking off at 6pm, followed by Proof Big Band at 7pm. Sure to be a Big Band Bonanza! For more info, and to see what else is on offer, check out the Avon Advocate or Shire of Northam website.