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Inspired by the Musical Innovators of the 1920s and '30s — Soloists and Songwriters
Drawing inspiration from the great bands, performers and composers of the "Jazz Age" and "Swing Era," Don Neely and the Royal Society Jazz Orchestra affectionately and authentically recapture the excitement and fascination of that musical heyday. They are guided by their affinity for the superb music of innovators active in the 1920s and '30s, such as Fletcher Henderson, Paul Whiteman, Louis Armstrong, Bix Biederbecke, Ted Lewis, Benny Goodman, and Duke Ellington. Songwriting inspirations include Harry Warren, Fats Waller, Cole Porter, George Gershwin, Hoagy Carmichael, Irving Berlin, Johnny Mercer, Harold Arlen, and Walter Donaldson. The Royal Society Jazz Orchestra and smaller ensembles have enchanted audiences across the country with their entertaining combination of great songs and authentic style in their live performances and CDs.
Don Neely Plays the Musical Saw.
Songs, Singers and the Cinema
The eleven-member RSJO and our smaller ensembles present the colorful songs made famous by such greats as Bing Crosby, Cab Calloway, Ruth Etting, Eddie Cantor, Billie Holiday, Helen Ward, Dick Powell, Ethel Waters, Fred Astaire, Maurice Chevalier, the Boswell Sisters, Ella Fitzgerald , Al Jolson , and Sofie Tucker. And what songs! "Avalon, " "Wrap Your Troubles In Dreams, " "Three Little Words, " " Truckin'," " The Music Goes 'Round and 'Round, " " Walkin' My Baby Back Home, " "Moten Swing, " "Hello Beautiful," and "Shakin' The Blues Away." Don Neely draws from many sources, including the best of Silver Screen and Broadway classics, including those directed and choreographed by Busby Berkeley :42nd Street and Footlight Parade. Classic films such as Top Hat, Shall We Dance, Swing Time, King Of Jazz, Cotton Club Parade, Anything Goes, and The Blue Angel are among those that serve as artistic inspirations.
Exploring the Musical Nuances of the 1920s and '30s
One of the many things that set this eleven-member ensemble apart is their genuine understanding of the music they perform. By going back and carefully studying the original musical ideas of the period, they are able to achieve their remarkably authentic sound. The band's entertaining and talented soloists are creatively spotlighted in their exciting and varied show, providing many delightful surprises. The RSJO plays with pizzaz — from intricately-faceted, 1920s Syncopated Jazz to ultra-sleek, 1930s Big Band Swing.