Why hire The John Burnett Orchestra?
The John Burnett Orchestra is a high profile band consisting of Chicago's finest musicians most of whom have played with name bands such as those of Glenn Miller, Woody Herman, Maynard Ferguson and many others. We do Theater Concerts, Weddings, Swing Dances, Jazz Festivals. Jazz Clubs, Corporate Functions, Society events, and other private gigs. We have recorded with clarinetist Buddy Defranco and trumpeter Randy Sandke and performed with Louie Bellson, Ernestine Anderson, Byron Stripling, Peter Appleyard and many others. Our CD's Down for double, Swingin in the Windy City, and West of State Street/East of Harlem have all met with rave reviews from International Jazz Critics and in the USA.
The John Burnett Orchestra was formed January 28, 1999 in Chicago by Broadcaster/jazz radio host John Burnett of 90.9FM WDCB Public Radio, Chicago's only full time Jazz Station (www.wdcb.org).
Over the years, the band has become well known for it's sheer accuracy of recreating the sounds of the swing era, the bands of the past such as Basie, Miller Herman, Dorsey,and others.
It is praised for its tightness and use of musical dynamics and praised even more so for its ability to swing mightily. Some Critics have said that we can sound more like Basie than Basie as we duplicate the sounds of arrangers like Neil Hefti, Freddie Green,Nestico, Frank Foster and others. We are seen as a delight for listeners and dancers alike. Our recordings on Delmark are a treasure but those who follow us around are always knocked out by hearing the band live.
The band has played almost every jazz club in Chicago, The Hyde Park Jazz Festival, major corporate functions and weddings and theatres like the Rialto Square Theatre in Joliet, Illinois. It's beauty and elecrifying sounds are as a result of the fact that most musicians are Julliard standard, highly proficient and are brilliant soloists.
Each section of the band (four trumpets, four trombones, five saxes, piano, bass and drums) consist of musicians who are all rhythm concious in every way and their ability as a team to play our brilliant arrangements makes the band come alive with stedfast accuracy in recreating the name bands of yesteryear in a tight manner, but with streamined solo techniques and dynamic accuracy.
Ou regular vocalist Ms. Frieda Lee is a great attraction to those who love Ella, Sarah, Carmen MacCrae and other big band vocalists. Her reputation accross the United States is high. She has sung and toured in the past with Basie vocalist Joe Williams, also Kevin Mahogany and others.
Many of the sidemen in the band have also been with other name bands. In some cases certain players have left the band to join the Glenn Miller Band but have then returned to the JBO.
We are also an organization that is fully compatible with major stars. As an example when trumpeter Byron Stripling, vibist Peter Appleyard, Trumpeter Randy Sandke, and Drummer Louie Bellson plus Ernestine Anderson performed with us they brought their own arrangements and requested a rehearsal before the show. After a couple of minutes they realised that rehearsals were not neccessary due to brilliant reading,execution of dynamics, and tight accurate performances of the ensemble.
Should a potential client need us to put together a show that consisted of high profile and world renowned performers such as Tonny Bennett, Michael Buble, or any other well known jazz performer the band can read and interpret at sight. If a theatre needed a band of this size to perform for a summer season or longer for a number of Major artists we could do it perfectly.
The performing standards of the band are self monitoring since each musician is accountable for rhythm, Intonation, pitch, dymanics and they listen to each other. This is why we do absolute justice to Basie, Herman, Miller, Buddy Rich when we perform their arrangements in public.
As proof of our standards and abilities you have only to google certain phrases such as: The John Burnett Orchestra, or Reviews of the John Burnett Orchestra CD's or ask for reviews of our specific recordings: Swingin In the Windy City, West of State Street / East of Harlem with Trumpeter Randy Sandke or our recent album in 2010 Down for Double. Many critics will tell you about how wonderful this band is and why we are such a pleasure to listen to.
John Burnett: Leader
Bob Frankich: Lead Alto
Justin May: 2nd Alto
David Kublank: Lead Tenor
Alex Beltran: 2nd Tenor
Bruce Mack: Baritone Sax
Terry Connell: Lead Trumpet
Mike McGrath: 2nd Trumpet
Doug Scharf: 3rd trumpet
Christian Anderson: 4th Trumpet
Adam Gross: Lead trombone
Russ Phillips: 2nd trombone
Dana Legg: 3rd trombone
Bill Walsh: Bass trombone
Kevin Fort: Piano
Bill Byan: Drums
Paul Martin: Bass
Frieda Lee: Vocals
Our wide variety of fans accross all ages are the best authority on this question. They we tell you we are the best big band available at this time. They will tell you that we are Basie to a tee. We sound like Basie when playing Basie as we do Goodman, Herman and all the others. Glenn Miller was my first influence and I always wanted to follow in his steps with that gorgeous reed sound and the sophistication of the last century. If I can get the band to Carnegie Hall and repeat that famous Benny Goodman Concert it would be my dying wish. I will never stop trying to achieve that golden ambition.
What to Expect
Typical Gig Duration: 90 - 240 minutes
For concert Goers: an electrifying and exciting swinging sound like none other.
For Dancers: an exhilerating and elictifying night of Swing Dancing, Jitterbugging and energy spending joy:
For jazz lovers: an incredible evening of jazz from Basie to Herman to Les Brown to Goodman, Ted Heath and more.
For all: A time that will never be forgotten and often talked about.
We will cater for everyone, for every type of function and we will most certainly generate much interest for future referrals and dates
Lighting: typical theatre or ballroom setting plus spotlighting for soloists.
Stage: typically three layers with trumpets at the back, trombones in front of trumpets and saxes in front of trombones.
Rhythm off to the right when facing stage.
Sound system: mic all instruments (13 instruments plus piano and vocalist together with the leader.
Sound systems by others unless specifically agreed in advance (we have a small sound system for smaller rooms for an extra $200. Ideally we prefer to have the sound provide by others including a sound engineer present throughout the gig.
Past Booked Dates:
02-24-2013 — Fitzgerald's Roosevelt Rd Berwyn
02-17-2013 — Untitled 111.W.Kinzie Chicago
02-09-2013 — Untitled 111 W. Kinzie Chicago
CDs For Sale
Swingin In The Windy City featuring Buddy Defranco
West of State Street / East of Harlem with Randy Sandke
Down For Double featuring Buddy Defranco
2006: 60 gigs
2007: 70 gigs
2008: 50 gigs
2009: 150 gigs
2010: 70 gigs
2011: 15 gigs
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Available for Your
Birthday Party, Casting Call, Christmas Party, Club/Nightclub, Concert Venue, Convention, Corporate Event, Cruise, Dinner Dance, Festival, Fundraiser, Grand Opening, Private Party, Prom, Wedding Reception, Workshop