The most difficult job of the year for years. Resuscitation of the Stageband, so that we can make distinctive jazz music for another year. In the north of the Netherlands, actually throughout the Netherlands, there are a lot of big bands. I think you can say that big bands are the modern fanfares in terms of popularity. Logically, big band music is very broad, it swings and it’s nostalgic. Many amateur musicians have a lot of fun playing in a big band.
The Stageband is not an amateur big band, although the professional musicians who play in it, have to experience the big band as such. Because, although big band music is very popular to play, it is difficult to bind a steady audience to you. Incidentally, that also depends on the type of music you play, because, for example, the Eemsmond Big Band has a beautiful permanent group of admirers, for whom they regularly give great concerts. The stage band, however, makes innovative jazz music, and that is not considered very entertaining by many people. All originally professional band members of the Stageband, therefore have to spend time and money in the big band, to be able to rehearse at all.
Nevertheless, the Stageband has an important function in that entire cultural big band field of the Northern Netherlands. In the stage band there are many conductors and orchestra leaders from other big bands, repertoire is being developed. Good amateurs can take the plunge and join the band, which is also very inspiring. That structure will be familiar to many organizations, even the sport knows that kind of frameworks. Promoting to the top class via amateur clubs. And the Stageband is top class, which has proven countless times in recent years with top prizes in national and international competitions.
For this year, the Stageband has ambitious plans again. After the successful Easter concerts of last year, where the Hållsta Suite was performed in 4 reasonably filled theater halls, this year we will continue on that road. The first part of the year we play the music of our lead trombonist Pavel. Beautiful organic arrangements and compositions by this Russian grand master. In the second half of the year we want to focus on a new suite, which we want to carry out in the Easter season, as a modern counterpart of Easter Passions.
Plans enough, but little budget, so operate in the margins. On the passion of the musicians. Difficult is that, because also those musicians are pulled by other parties with more capital. It is therefore not easy to put together a distinctive big band year after year with musicians who keep one night in the week free to jointly give substance to that passion. It seems to be possible again this year, after a lot of effort. Let’s hope that the audience knows how to find their way to the theaters, also to appreciate these kinds of efforts. As well as enjoying beautiful new jazz music.