BOHEMIA BIG BAND - Bandleader: Bohuslav Volf
At the end of 1985 a new orchestra made its appearance, in festivals, clubs and independent concerts - the BOHEMIA BIG BAND. Its goal, to interpret and perform modern swing music, was welcomed not only by concert and festival organizers, but even more by a wide-ranging jazz audience.
The discovery that swing continues to maintain its validity and charm for listeners was nothing new. On listening to BBB, however, lovers of this music finally come into their own, for the wide repertoire of the ensemble includes not only the classic "Glenn Millers" and famous arrangements of Count Basie, Sammy Nestico, Neal Hefti, Duke Ellington, Benny Goodman and Woody Herman, or the compositions of the more recent groups like those of Quincy Jones, Thad Jones-Mel Lewis or Buddy Rich; but also the "evergreens" of classics of Czech swing: Jaroslav Ježek, Leopold Korbař and many others. Moreover, BBB includes in its programs compositions of well-known Czech modern jazz composers such as Karel Růžička, Milan Svoboda, Karel Velebný, Emil Viklický and the band's leader, Bohuslav Volf. The band continues to fulfil its artistic ambition of performing with the leading Czech soloists and singers: concert experiences has shown these collaborations to be not only interesting, but greatly inspiring for both sides. Guest soloists in BBB concerts have included: Tony Ackerman, Milan Černohouz, Lee Andrew Davison, Karel Hála, Svatopluk Košvanec, Vladimír Kerndl, Marcela Králová, Jana Koubková, Peter Lipa, Barbora Lišková, Eva Pilarová, Karel Růžička, Jiří Suchý, Jaroslav Svěcený, Milan Svoboda, The Swings (vocal quartet), Karel Velebný, Emil Viklický, Jitka Zelenková, Ivan Ženatý among others. The orchestra has also worked with several established soloists from the field of "serious music", many of whom make no secret of their sympathy for jazz. Guest soloists in this branch have included violinist Ivan Ženatý, trumpetist Zdeněk Šedivý, trombonist Zdeněk Pulec and others.
It is an old musicians' proverb that a big band is only as good as its drummer and lead trumpetist. For these key players, the BBB has been lucky to enjoy the great musicianship of two of the most experienced swing instrumentalists: Vladimír Žižka and Zdeněk Zahálka. But the other soloists and band-members are also musicians with swing in the marrow of their bones, and for whom this music has become the love of their life. Thus, the Bohemia Big Band follows in the rich tradition of Czech large ensembles. We certainly hope that you will enjoy this superb jazz ensemble, one which has not failed to please the most exacting jazz fans.
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