Big bands developed gradually during the 1920s, growing from small groups of 5 or 6 pieces to 12 and eventually 15 musicians and more. Of course they primarily played in ballrooms, and composers realized that, as long as they didn’t lose that danceable beat, they could be as daring and experimental as they wished to be. Since the 1950s, many bands performed in settings for listening, and creative composers brought forth beautiful colors and effects. We’ll hear stunning sounds from the bands led by Ellington, Lunceford, Goodman, Toshiko Akiyoshi, Maria Schneider, Thad Jones, and many others!
Dr. Lewis Porter is a celebrated and Grammy- nominated jazz pianist who has performed many times for Lexington Community Ed with noted stars. As an award-winning author and long-time professor at Tufts, Brandeis, and Rutgers, he is in demand everywhere for his entertaining and enlightening lectures. He is the author of John Coltrane: His Life and Music, the only Coltrane biography endorsed by John’s son, saxophonist Ravi Coltrane, as well as by Jimmy Heath, Dan Morgenstern, and many others. He is also the editor of the John Coltrane Reference, a big “day by day” listing.