The mid 1920’s through the 1940’s are known as “the big-band era.” All the cool cats and hip gals hired full jazz ensembles for their wedding receptions. These “big bands” consisted of between twelve and twenty-five musicians; including trumpets, saxaphones, trombones, rhythm, and vocals. Although that era is now a moment in history, you can still hire a big band for your big day, even theme your event around this quintessential musical element from weddings gone by.
The Bedford Big Band from New Hampshire is a terrific example of a classically-sized ensemble. In their twelve years as a group, 21-piece group has played many dances, concerts, company outings, and, of course, weddings. True to the authentic big-band style, they play classic swing music just like it was heard in its hay-day. So be prepared to transport your guests to the ballrooms of the 30’s and 40’s.
With two female vocalists, the Bedford Big Band can feature two very different energy levels, pair the gals together, or even pull a couple of gents from the band for a classic quartet such as the Chattanooga-Choo-Choo. No matter what the tune, they’ll have you tapping your toes to the beat as the trombonists work their slides side to side, the trumpeters synchronize their mutes and different sections stand up for their sound. You and your guests will surely feel the urge to get up onto your feet as well.
The bride and groom can work together with the band to plan a special first dance. Bring in a choreographer and learn some authentic swing moves to really spice up the night. Consider waltzing cheek-to-cheek for the father-daughter dance, or burning up a tango during the mother-son number, classics won’t ever go out of style and learning the steps will impress your guests and have you looking great.
Crowd favorites typically include Rock Around the Clock, Lullaby of Broadway, Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy, classics from the great Duke Ellington himself and even contemporary hits. Their full repertoire of selections includes snappy instrumentals, sultry vocals and fun vocal quartets that are sure to be crowd pleasers and memory makers. Visit their website at www.bedfordbigband.com for a complete list with clips. Couples strongly considering them can also email in for a complimentary sampler cd.
Bedford Big Band is a non-profit organization whose members are in it for their love of music, not a love of money, so the great news is they may actually be cheaper than a DJ! Why not bring back that big-band grandeur for your big day? Go all out with period attire for the wedding party with pin-striped suits for the men and a birdcage veil and long white gloves for the bride. What a sure-fire way to create a jumping and jiving good time!