All Girl Big Band

It’s exciting to hear there’s a new big band in town. We already have vibrant community big bands like The Garden City Big Band, Sideline Swing, as well as the Symposium Ensemble that forms for larger events and festival, but it’s great to welcome another big band into the mix. What sets this ensemble apart from the rest is that it’s made up entirely of women.

I asked Kate Taylor, co-founder of the band why she had created an All Girls Big Band?

“I was chatting with Lana Law (sax player and the other co-founder) one day and

and the topic came up about Big Bands containing only women. We looked at each other and said “Could we do this in such a small city?” So we reeled off the names. And we found that we could, so we did!”

A quick google search shows a proud tradition of all-female bands dating back decades to their heyday during WW2 when swing/dance bands were in huge demand and many male players were unavailable.

In Christchurch, jazz education remains strong, and the 2015 Christchurch Youth Jazz Orchestra had a 50:50 male/female ratio. An indication the All Girls Big Band shouldn’t have to worry about recruitment in the future.

Players include current tutors of Ara Music Arts, graduates of the jazz programme, and both secondary school students and teachers.

Rehearsals are being held at Ara Music Arts, and the band has just had their first gig at The Court Theatre and have their next gig on May 20th as part of the After Work Series. The main goal is to present a Natalie Cole tribute at a festival in the near future. 


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