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Catalog > Winter/Spring 2018

Big Bands of the 1940's & 1950's  

This is an introduction to the little-known Big Bands of the late 1940's and 1950's. We'll examine the monumental changes that occurred in post-World War II America, which contributed to the end of the Dance Band era. Be-Bop wasn't the only innovation in jazz birthed by the social, musical and cultural friction of this time; a new wave of adventurous Big Band music was also a product of this discord. This new flavor of Big Bands was popular among musicians, and a small but devoted audience, but the tastes of the record-buying public went off in very different directions. Examples of the music will enrich the discussion. We'll also learn how the established bands of Basie, Hampton, Kenton, Herman and others coped; and how the colorful characters such as Chubby Jackson, Dizzy Gillespie, and Tiny Kahn, helped to define this new era of Big Band jazz between 1946 and 1960.


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