Big Band Swing UK
About Big Band Swing UK
Now in our twenty-first year, Big Band Swing can proudly boast a history laced with notable highlights, from playing movies from the Bond catalogue on the national opening night of Spectre to their annual charity show in Haddenham. With this in mind, we wanted to shed some light on a band who are very much a staple part of the local scene. Formed in June 1996 by Kevin Lane & Rob Carter as an offshoot of the then ‘Aylesbury Town Band’, Big Band Swing is an 18-piece big band, playing music from the golden era of the big band sound through to present day arrangers. The band has evolved over time, but with the same desire today as back then, to play music and have fun. Playing for private functions, open concerts and charity events, it has helped raise over £20,000 to date for local charities and organisations. Big Band Swing consists of a 4-piece rhythm section, 5 saxophones, 4 trumpets, 4 trombones and fronted by a female vocalist. At the front of the band, when not playing, is MD Lee Buckingham, who joined the band back in 1998, soon stepping up to assist in running things before taking over as full band leader in 2006 when both Kevin & Rob moved away. Highlights of the band most recently include being asked by Odeon to play at their flagship cinema outside of London for the opening of the Bond movie ‘Spectre’ as it was aired nationally at 7pm sharp. Music played by the band is that of the Basie, Ellington, Miller, Riddle, Nestico and Hefti catalogue with modern composers also thrown in to the set lists, such as Goodwin, Holmes, Collins & Martin to name but a few. Vocal arrangements of Fitzgerald, Cole, Clooney, Lee, Sinatra and many more get the audience singing along to tracks they know and love. We now proudly have a “Pad” of over 350 numbers, which grows and grows. As well as our annual charity concert in Haddenham run alongside the Haddenham Masonic Lodge, the band took on a new initiative in 2016, our 20th anniversary year, and have been holding small concerts on the 1st Monday of each month at the George & Dragon Hotel in Princes Risborough, where we invite a local charity along to ‘shake’ a collection tin to help raise monies. This has proven a real success already with over £1,000 being raised to date for this low-key venture alone.