Big Band Swing Night

Saturday 12th November 2016 @ All Saints’ Church, Whitefield

Big Band Swing Night

Join one of the North West’s leading big bands for a night of swinging jazz in the splendid surroundings of All Saints Church, Whitefield. Dr Jazz and the Cheshire Cats Big Band present familiar classics and some forgotten gems from the bands of Glenn Miller, Count Basie, Benny Goodman, Duke Ellington and many more. The concert also features songs made famous by Frank Sinatra and the Rat Pack, by jazz divas such as Ella Fitzgerald and more recently by Robbie Williams and Michael Bublé. Don’t miss this opportunity to experience the authentic big band sound in an evening which is sure to swing from beginning to end!

Tickets are available from a member of the band or online through WeGotTickets.

Preparing for Christmas!

This is the first of what we hope will be many blogs from Dr Jazz herself (aka Catherine Tackley) giving you a glimpse ‘behind the scenes’ to see what the Cats are up to.

This Autumn we have been working on repertoire for two gigs: a recent appearance at the ‘Big Band Swing Concerts’ at Cheadle Hulme Conservative club, and our regular ‘Swinging Christmas’ extravaganza, this year at Thelwell and Grappenhall Royal British Legion on 12th December. I can’t mention our Cheadle appearance without applauding the tireless efforts of the volunteer promoters who stage monthly big band concerts that attract a healthy audience and give local bands such a warm welcome. I always try to incorporate something a little unusual into our appearances there – it’s a bit different to gigs where we play for dancers, or have particular requirements from a client, and the audience are particularly knowledgeable and attentive. This time we played the Ellington/Strayhorn Nutcracker Suite, looking forward to the festive season. The Cheshire Cats have a particular affinity for Ellington and over the years we’ve worked hard at getting the balance and sound ‘just so’. The Nutcracker is difficult to play – virtuosity required in all sections – but perhaps particularly tricky is the lack of harmonic ‘filling’ from piano and guitar for the majority of the movements, which can make soloists, and the bass player, feel a little exposed! But the Cats certainly rose to the challenge.

Sinatra ChristmasSo to our final preparations for Christmas. As well as a little Nutcracker, our ‘Swinging Christmas’ celebration will particularly spotlight our two vocalists. Jo has been working on some great new vocals – we’re always enlarging our stocks of Ella Fitzgerald numbers which really show off her voice and give the band plenty to get stuck into as well. But lately we’ve been getting into Caro Emerald – we learned ‘A Night Like This’ earlier this year, and recently added ‘That Man’ in a clever up-tempo arrangement which borrows from the famous big band instrumental ‘Sing, Sing, Sing’. Meanwhile, Peter is gearing up for an epic Sinatra set, since the gig coincides with what would have been the Rat Pack leader’s 100th birthday. With so many fantastic songs in great arrangements it was always going to be difficult to choose, so we’ve selected our favourite numbers from Sinatra’s heyday. There will be some great instrumentals from the books of Count Basie, Charlie Barnet, Gil Evans, Duke Ellington and a very special new addition to our repertoire featuring keys player Ian. We’ll round things off with a very special Christmas set. On top of all that, we’ll be welcoming our friends from Mersey Swing to show off their moves on the dance floor. All this for only £10 (£8 concessions), and we’ll even throw in a mince pie! Get your tickets before they sell out! I hope to see you there.

Ticket are available online through WeGotTickets.

Best wishes for the festive season,

Dr Jazz

2015 Christmas Party

Tickets are now available for the 2015 Dr Jazz and the Cheshire Cats Christmas Party. This year, our party happens to fall on the exact date of what would have been Frank Sinatra’s 100th Birthday and so we will be featuring a special tribute. For more information on tickets, please see the following flyer.

2015 Christmas Party

Feedback from concert on 29th May 2015

Here is some feedback from an audience member at our Cheadle Hulme Conservative Club concert for Big Band Swing Concerts on Friday 29th May 2015:

Thank you for last evening at C H C C, must be a lot of hard work running a big band with all it entails organizing 20 odd people.
Very much enjoyed the more modern composers charts – Symphonic jazz with lots of sound pastels – wonderful, and great repeated rifting on one of them.
Please pass on a big thank you to your lovely lady vocalist for her dream of a rendition of AT LAST, the band and herself were perfectly together and she made the song an ACT which is what songs should be, as though the words are being voiced for the very first time. Have continued success. Bernard

Feedback: Dr Jazz and the Cheshire Cats are Excellent!

It’s always nice to have an appreciative audience. Here is some feedback from an audience member (unrelated to the band) who was at our Cheadle Hulme appearance in November 2014:

09/12/14 – Hello Fred, Thought you might like to know about an orchestra called Dr Jazz and the Cheshire Cats. They were playing at the Cheadle Hulme Conservative Club on the 28th of November. They were excellent. They are based in Lymm and their musical director is Dr Catherine Tackley, who has an impressive musical history. For any jazz enthusiast in the South Manchester area, there is jazz at the Cheadle Hulme Club the last Friday in the month. – Mildred Finney

Published on JazzNorthWest.

Trombone Vacancy

Dr Jazz and the Cheshire Cats big band has a vacancy on 2nd trombone. We are looking for someone who is an excellent reader and section player, and might be prepared to do some improvisation (but that’s not essential). The band runs as a co-operative, so regular members don’t get paid but don’t have to pay subs. We usually play 10-12 gigs per year in the North West and rehearse roughly fortnightly on Monday nights in Lymm, near Warrington. We will hold informal auditions (consisting of sitting in with the band at a rehearsal).

Please contact vacancies@dr-jazz.co.uk if you are interested.

Cheadle Hulme Conservative Club

We have just confirmed our next visit to Cheadle Hulme Conservative Club to play for the events organised by Big Band Swing Concerts. We will be appearing on Friday 29th May 2015 with a brand new programme of music. The event starts at 8:30pm and tickets are only £6 (available on the door). We look forward to seeing you there.