Do you want to join a big band?

Brass players are being recruited to strut their funky stuff in a newly-formed big band.
The newly formed Ribble Valley big band get into their stride.(s)The newly formed Ribble Valley big band get into their stride.(s)
The newly formed Ribble Valley big band get into their stride.(s)

Ribble Valley Jazz and Blues’ decision, in October, to go ahead and form a second big band is already paying off, judging from the enthusiasm of band members during the first practice sessions.

After only four rehearsals, including three before Christmas, band members have grown in confidence and competence, having put together three big band tunes.

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Band director Paul J. Rigby, who is also responsible for the RV Jazz Collective, Ribble Valley Jazz and Blues’ first big band project, said: “Our 14 new big band members have applied themselves extremely well in such a short time.

“They have clearly been practising at home as well as at rehearsals on Tuesday evenings at The Atrium Cafe Bar in Clitheroe. And funky big band tunes seem to be going down well – especially Wilson Pickett’s ‘Mustang Sally’!”

Band members say is too early to say whether they will be ready to play at Ribble Valley Jazz Festival on May Day Bank Holiday weekend, partly because the band still needs more trumpeters and trombonists.

They will be circulating music departments at local colleges, and mounting posters in music shops, libraries, and information centres.

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Lorraine Grice, one of the RV Jazz Collective Big Band musicians who joined the first band two years ago, said: “Playing with the band was the best thing I’ve ever done. It’s been a life-changing experience, mainly through taking the chance of playing in front of audiences in a variety of Lancashire venues.”

Membership of the band is open to anyone living in the Lancashire and immediate Yorkshire areas who is prepared to travel to Clitheroe on a Tuesday evening, and turn out for occasional public performances.

“Reading music is not a necessity for band members,” says Paul Rigby.

Musicians just need to be familiar and confident with their instruments, and be prepared to put in extra home-based practice as well as attending rehearsals regularly.”

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Prospective band members of any age, and especially younger and older musicians and trumpeters and trombonists, can get more information by emailing [email protected] or phoning 07870 908159, or just turn up and introduce themselves at 7pm on a Tuesday.

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