GO Jazz Big Band to present ‘The History of the Big Band’


It’s like no other sound on earth: the raw power of 14 blasting horns shaking the rafters—the drive of the rhythm section—the controlled cool of the sax solo—the unforgettable songs. It’s Big Band music, that proudly American invention, stronger than ever after ninety years. And this November 20, the GO Jazz Big Band, a Santa Clarita institution, presents its most ambitious concert yet: The History of the Big Band.

Director Brian Leff, vocalist Steve Lively, and the great players of the GO Band present the best of the best: golden era giants like Glenn Miller, Duke Ellington, and Count Basie, and later masters of the form like Buddy Rich, Maynard Ferguson, and Gordon Goodwin. Making sense of it all is UCLA Lecturer in Ethnomusicology, composer, and Big Band fanatic, emcee Charley Harrison, curating a voyage through this uniquely American art form and the musicians who forged it. But make no mistake—this is no dry history class, but a blazing, swinging, tour de force that will electrify music lovers of all ages. Every song – from In The Mood to Birdland – is a classic.

The GO Jazz History of the Big Band takes place at the West Ranch High School Performing Arts Theater on Sunday, November 20, starting at 3 p.m. Doors open at 2:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 for general admission, $5 for seniors, and students (all ages) are free.

Past GO Jazz Big Band concerts have highlighted movie music, romance, funk and rock, all topped by the sellout Frank Sinatra tribute last year. This year, they raise the stakes with nothing less than a celebration of the hot magic that is Big Band music. The charts are ready, the band is ready, Professor Harrison is ready — are you?

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