Big band enthusiasts are in for a treat when the 10th Brass Band Extravaganza comes to Artscape Theatre on Saturday 22 August.
Formally known as Kader Miller's Brass Band Pops, the annual big band festival has become a collaboration between Artscape Theatre and well-known band leader and jazz musician, Ian Smith. The purpose of the concert has always been to provide a platform to emerging young bands. While continuing to do this, the showcase has also got a new look this year, under Smith’s baton.
As director, Smith has taken a more selective approach to the production, together with promoting more interaction and collaboration between bands. The Brass Band Extravaganza is an opportunity to bring together bands that wouldn’t necessarily be seen on the same stage elsewhere.
This year sees Wynberg Girls’ High Jazz Band and Steenberg High School’s wind and jazz bands performing alongside community project bands like the Wellington Big Band and the world-renowned Delft Big Band.
They will be joined by Brass Band Theory and the Santam District Big Band who have both evolved from minstrel groups.
Although these groups all come from very different backgrounds, they share the commonality of having all worked with Smith in some capacity, from training and development to mentorship. The six orchestras have participated in workshops with Smith throughout the year, with a focus on promoting musical literacy.
Their concert on Saturday 22 August will feature a diverse mix of instrumental, vocal jazz, popular light classical music with an Andrew Lloyd Webber medley, some Michael Bublé and Ella Fitzgerald favourites, a Stevie Wonder selection, a medley of Abba hits and Johann Strauss’ Radetzky March among the items on the program.
The production will end off with a bang when the bands’ more than 150 musicians join forces for an extravagant grand finale.
Tickets for the Brass Band Extravaganza, which will be on stage at Artscape Theatre from 15:00 on Saturday 22 August cost R40 and are available from Computicket or Artscape Dial-a-Seat on 021 421 7695.