Precision ensemble playing. Thrilling vocals and solos.
Bold interpretations of standards and popular Whitney Smith originals.
A classic sound, a fresh attitude, a band that roars.
Jazz festival presenters are often looking for one act that can do several things at once: showcase top level professionals performing instrumental and vocal numbers, appeal to a broad age range of new-to-jazz fans as well as aficionados, appeal to mainstream jazz tastes as well as those looking for original compositions, and lend a sense of spectacle to an important evening during the festival. That is, the kind of uplifting musical performance that leaves the audience with an inspired memory.
The Whitney Smith Big Steam Band, now working out of London, New York and Toronto for its three main markets, provides all of this — a powerhouse outfit of five saxes, four trumpets, four trombones, four rhythm and two singers — at an affordable price.
BAND STYLE & REPERTOIRE
The 17-piece Big Steam Band plays swing, jazz, Latin and blues. Its roots are in the late 1950s sound of Count Basie Orchestra with Frank Sinatra, the arrangements in the tradition of Nelson Riddle, Billy May and Quincy Jones, and the full-bore vocals that can lead the drummer and touch the audience.
A Big Steam Band performance presents 75% original compositions and 25% classic jazz standard arrangements penned by our band arrangers, Andrew Jones and Jake Wilkinson. Depending on your festival’s artistic mandate, we can adjust this ratio.
The Big Steam Band’s trademark instrumentals and vocal compositions are written by its bandleader and guitarist, Whitney Smith.
What thrills audiences at a Big Steam Band concert is that the original compositions and arrangements fit a familiar tradition while being new to their ears. Our clients have found that the experience of hearing new music, written by the person up onstage leading the band, provides extra value for audiences.
FITTING YOUR FESTIVAL’S MANDATE
The band can perform a single set of 60 minutes, or, two-sets of 100 minutes of music.
The videos and sound samples below will give you sense of our program for your festival. Whitney can contact you to discuss the exact parameters of your festival, and how the Big Steam Band can be a successful expression of its mandate.
Contact us at bookings [at] whitneysmith.ca. You may be pleasantly surprised at how our prices compare to other top level professional jazz orchestras.
Band track samples.
Some of what you will hear at a Big Steam Band concert. Some tracks are full-length, some are excerpts.
(All original compositions by Whitney Smith, except where noted, by *. All arrangements by Big Steam Band arrangers.)
Flight to Nassau (Swing)
Take My Hand (Rhumba, vocal)
Steam Engine (Swing)
Let's Pretend It's Love (Swing)
I Will Not Love (Swing, vocal)
Colourwise (Ballad, vocal)
Rhythm Pills & Spare Change, (Swing)
My Shining Hour* (Swing, vocal)
On the Street Where You Live* (Swing, vocal)
'Round Midnight* (Ballad, vocal)
Finally, here are some Big Steam Band videos: