They’re called The Big Band Alumni for a good reason: they’re almost all graduates of some of the greatest big bands of all time; like Benny Goodman, Tommy Dorsey, Glenn Miller, Harry James, Woody Herman, Stan Kenton, Count Basie,Billy May, and many more names of the Big Band era. What these legendary musicians bring you is the authentic swinging sounds of the 40’s played with the same passion that made the “Swing Era” what it was; the way this music was meant to be played.
The leader of The Big Band Alumni – America’s All Star Swing Band is Johnny Vana. Johnny, who in his career was also an executive with Capitol Records and taught at University of Texas, El Paso, started his playing career early. He was invited to sit in with the Glenn Miller Orchestra in Omaha, Nebraska when he was only FOUR years old. By the time he was NINE, he was regularly featured with Horace Heidt and his Musical Knights. At fourteen Johnny was a regular with the Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra.
What every swing band needs, along with fabulous musicians, is a singer, and we’re no exception. And because no big band is complete without a “heart throb” for the ladies we have Bill A. Jones and for the men there is the beautiful Bonnie Bowden.
The Big Band Alumni evokes memories of years gone by, inspiring whole new generations of dancers to take the dance floor right alongside the “youth” who grew up dancing to and sharing a passion for the best dance music of all time. You only have to hear this orchestra once before you’re ready to join the crowd and build some new memories of your own one note at a time.