Blue Moon Big Band Celebrates Its 10th Anniversary With Planned Live CD
– Airtime on 60+ radio stations and worldwide recording sales highlight a decade of great big band and swing music –
Baltimore, MD – May 1, 2008 – Maryland-based Blue Moon Big Band (www.bluemoonbigband.com), an authentic 1940s style swing orchestra that specializes in the timeless music of the American big band era, today celebrates its 10th anniversary of performing for audiences in the Mid-Atlantic region. In conjunction with the celebration, the band has planned the recording of its sixth CD, Blue Moon Big Band Caught in the Act: 10th Anniversary Celebration Live at Naylor Wine Cellars in July.
The Band’s History
Under the direction of Baltimore native Rob Leonard, Blue Moon Big Band was founded in 1998 and recorded its first CD the same year. “We really had one primary objective in the very beginning,” says Leonard, “and that was to bring authentic, memorable big band entertainment to local and regional audiences. At the same time, it was paramount for us to honor the bands of the 1930s and 1040s by acquiring and performing as many original arrangements as possible. We do bring our own enthusiasm and stylings to the music we play, but I never felt it appropriate to detract from the music of Glenn Miller, Benny Goodman, and all the original great artists with showy costumes, excessive choreography, and flashy stage presentations like some other bands. I believe that is simply disrespectful not only to the original recordings but also to audiences who want to see and hear classy, genuine big band music.”
The approach seems to have paid off for Blue Moon Big Band. In the past 10 years, the group has performed for private and public audiences in Maryland, Washington DC, Virginia, Delaware, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and New York. Milestone events for the band include a 2001 feature presentation on National Public Radio’s “Swingin’ Down the Lane”, a standing room only engagement at the Swing 46 Jazz and Supper Club in Manhattan later that year, several live and recorded television appearances, and sharing the stage with jazz greats Cyrus Chestnut and Ethel Ennis during a 1998 live television appearance, among others. The band released its fifth CD in December 2007, The Polar Bear’s Pajamas, which received tremendous response and accolades from many of the 60+ radio stations across the United States that have played the orchestra’s music. The band has sold recordings in all 50 U.S. states as well as 10 other countries.
Ken Jackson, Baltimore radio personality for WYPR 88.1 FM, a National Public Radio station, notes, “It’s one thing for a group of musicians to say they are going to produce a big band CD. It’s quite another thing to do it and do it well. Blue Moon Big Band has pulled it off very nicely with The Polar Bear’s Pajamas.” Adds John Russell of 90.9 FM WDCB in Chicago, “The Polar Bear’s Pajamas is one of those rare recordings that provide an exciting musical treat for both the DJ and the listening public. Each selection features a fresh new arrangement perfect for listening or for dancing.” And Richard Harrison, 90.3 FM KEDM in Monroe, LA, contends, “Music lovers will recognize nearly all the songs. I’ll enjoy each as I play for my personal enjoyment or on my weekly radio show.”
The Upcoming Live CD
Leonard hopes that type of support from radio stations and listeners alike will continue when the band releases its upcoming recording later this year. Presently listed as Blue Moon Big Band Caught in the Act: 10th Anniversary Celebration Live at Naylor Wine Cellars, the sixth CD in the band’s library will comprise several of the band’s tried-and-true songs as well as many debut charts that have recently been added to the Blue Moon Big Band library.
“We’ll be introducing a handful of brand new additions to our repertoire, including songs from the libraries of Glenn Miller, Frank Sinatra, Cab Calloway, Benny Goodman, and even Michael Bublé as we continue our effort to provide something for every big band enthusiast in our audience,” says Leonard. “When we record the live CD on July 19 at Naylor Wine Cellars in Stewartstown, PA, we also plan on welcoming back some Blue Moon Big Band alumni from the early years, as well as a few friends who will join us on stage. We’re very excited about the event and the recording, and are very appreciative for the support and partnership of Dick Naylor and his group at Naylor Wine Cellars for helping make this recording a reality.” The band has been performing twice each summer for the past seven years at Naylor Wine Cellars, which boasts a pavilion that covers 500 guests and dancers in addition to the open-air seating for several hundred additional guests. Over the years, Naylor Wine Cellars has been recognized as a great venue for an outdoor dance or concert.
How to Get the New CD Free
Blue Moon Big Band is currently extending offers for pre-ordering of the upcoming Caught in the Act CD, including an offer for audiences and fans to get the new recording free when they join the Blue Moon Club (www.bluemoonbigband.com/bmbbclub.html). Club membership requires a low, one-time fee and includes many benefits such as lifetime free shipping on all Blue Moon Big Band recordings, free registration for the band’s monthly Moonbeams eNewsletter, and the member’s name listed as a member of the Club on both the Blue Moon Big Band website and the actual pull-out booklet or packaging of all future Blue Moon Big Band recordings. Details about Club membership, ordering additional recordings from Blue Moon Big Band, band member profiles, and other information can be found at www.bluemoonbigband.com.
About Blue Moon Big Band
Formed in May 1998, Blue Moon Big Band is an authentic 1940s style swing orchestra specializing in the timeless music of the great American big band era. Performing for audiences throughout the Mid-Atlantic region, Maryland-based Blue Moon Big Band has entertained for thousands of guests at large and for as few as several dozen listeners and dancers at more intimate settings. The band has also performed at both live and recorded television and radio events, including a 2001 feature presentation on National Public Radio, and its music has been played on over 60 radio stations across the U.S. Blue Moon Big Band has recorded six CDs, with sales in all 50 U.S. states and 10 international territories. Blue Moon Big Band has worked with some of the area’s top dance instructors, including the 2001 American Lindy Hop Champions, and can arrange lessons before the event. The full orchestra, as well as its smaller partner ensemble Li’l Bit of Blue, is available for wedding receptions, corporate and private parties, dances, concerts, and other special events, and can provide anything from jump and jive for clubs or festivals to big band dance music for an elegant party or reception. For information on pricing and availability, contact bandleader Rob Leonard at 410.756.2473 or 301.639.0770. For additional information, visit www.bluemoonbigband.com.