Frequently Asked Questions

Want to know what we’re about and where we play? Take a look at the Blue Moon Big Band frequently asked questions to learn everything you could want to know. You can also learn how to book the band on our Hire Us page.

How many members are in Blue Moon Big Band?

The standard line-up comprises 13 horns, a 4-piece rhythm section, male and female vocalists, and the bandleader.

How will I know if Blue Moon can physically fit into our venue?

You may be surprised how comfortably a swing orchestra can fit onto seemingly small stages and performance sites. If you're familiar with places such as the Peabody Library in Baltimore, the Country Club of York (PA), or the Washington Golf & Country Club in Arlington, VA, we've played in all of them with no problem. If you're still concerned with our physical set-up, contact Rob Leonard at bandleader@bluemoonbigband.com. He will arrange to meet with you at the proposed site and go over the set-up with you before you make a decision.

How far will the band travel for an event?

To date, we have played in Maryland, Washington DC, Virginia, West Virginia, Delaware, Pennsylvania, and New York. However, that doesn't mean we won't travel farther. Contact us and find out. Some of the more noteworthy venues at which we have performed include:

  • Annapolis Marriott Waterfront (Annapolis, MD)
  • Antrim Inn (Taneytown, MD)
  • Arlington Country Club (Arlington, VA)
  • Baltimore Convention Center (Baltimore, MD)
  • Baltimore Garrett Museum (Baltimore, MD)
  • Bavarian Inn (Shepherdstown, WV)
  • Blue Ridge Country Club (Harrisburg, PA)
  • Boordy Vineyards (Glen Arm, MD)
  • Carroll County Arts Council (Westminster, MD)
  • Celebrations at the Bay (Pasadena, MD)
  • Ceresville Mansion (Frederick, MD)
  • Chevy Chase Country Club (Chevy Chase, MD)
  • Corcoran Gallery of Art (Washington, DC)
  • Country Club of York (York, PA)
  • DuPont Country Club (Wilmington, DE)
  • Eichelberger Performing Arts Center (Hanover, PA)
  • Felicita Resort (Harrisburg, PA)
  • Gettysburg Hotel (Gettysburg, PA)
  • Hagerstown Community College (Hagerstown, MD)
  • Kent Manor Inn (Easton, MD)
  • Merriweather Post Pavilion (Columbia, MD)
  • Morningside Inn (Libertytown, MD)
  • Mt. Vernon Inn (Alexandria, VA)
  • National Public Radio (Little Rock, AR)
  • Naylor Wine Cellars (Stewartstown, PA)
  • Nissley Vineyards (Bainbridge, PA)
  • Oasis Winery (Hume, VA)
  • Oella Lions Club (Ellicott City, MD)
  • Old South Country Club (Lothian, MD)
  • Oregon Ridge (Hunt Valley, MD)
  • Oxon Hill Manor (Oxon Hill, MD)
  • Parkville American Legion (Parkville, MD)
  • Ritz Carlton (Tysons Corner, VA)
  • Rockfield Manor (Bel Air, MD)
  • Rolling Road Country Club (Catonsville, MD)
  • Rolling Rock Country Club (Ligonier, PA)
  • Salisbury State University (Salisbury, MD)
  • Strong Mansion (Sugarloaf Mountain, MD)
  • Swing 46 Jazz & Supper Club (New York, NY)
  • Ten Oaks Ballroom (Clarksville, MD)
  • The Gramercy Mansion (Greenspring Valley, MD)
  • The Pikesville Hilton (Pikesville, MD)
  • The Union Club (New York, NY)
  • Washington County Fine Arts Museum (Hagerstown, MD)
Do you play music other than Swing?

We are a 1940s style big band. We prefer to play swing music all night long, but we often receive requests for special songs, particularly at wedding receptions and similar events. If you have a special request for a song that is not in our library, we either attempt to find an arrangement suitable for a big band, or we make an effort to write the song ourselves. Either way, we want you to be completely satisfied.

What is Li’l Bit of Blue?

Li'l Bit of Blue is a jazz, blues and swing ensemble typically comprised of any combination of a 2-4 piece rhythm section, optional horns and vocals. Li'l Bit of Blue can perform for an entire event or as a set-up group for the full orchestra.

Where can I see the band perform?

Many of our engagements are for private affairs and corporate events. However, we try to keep as many "open to the public" performances on the schedule as possible. A current listing of upcoming engagements can be found on our See Us Swing page.

Can I buy recordings from Blue Moon Big Band?

Of course; you can order CDs right here from the website. We have seven recordings available from Blue Moon Big Band and one solo album from vocalist Teresa Leonard:

  • All The Cats Join In” (2018): a 20-song compilation in celebration of our 20th anniversary.
  • "Blue Moon Big Band Caught in the Act: 10th Anniversary Celebration Live at Naylor Wine Cellars" (2008): includes more than 2 and a half hours of entertainment and captures the excitement of the band in a live performance setting.
  • "The Polar Bear's Pajamas" (2007): has been reviewed by radio stations around the country as our finest recording.
  • “The Child in Me” (2004): Teresa’s solo release; comprises 18 songs including light jazz, standards, and lullabies.
  • "Baby, It's Cold Outside: A Swingin' Christmas Collection from Blue Moon Big Band and Friends" (2003): boasts 31 big band, jazz, and blues tracks on 2 CDs or cassettes.
  • "Nice Work if You Can Get It" (2001): packs in 20 swing, big band, jazz, and blues titles, including songs from the libraries of Glenn Miller, Benny Goodman, Glen Gray and the Cosa Loma Orchestra, Hoagy Carmichael, Peggy Lee, Bobby Darin, and others.
  • "Swingin' Live!" (1999): includes both '40s and '90s swing and big band music, including cuts from artists such as Benny Goodman, Glenn Miller, Duke Ellington, Natalie Cole, Brian Setzer, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, the Cherry Poppin' Daddies, and more.
  • "Things Ain't What They Used to Be" (1998): contains 16 songs and an hour's worth of music.
How much does it cost to hire Blue Moon Big Band or Li'l Bit of Blue?

It really depends how far we have to travel and how many hours you want us to play at your event. Keep in mind, though, that the music Blue Moon plays was written for a big band, not for an 8- or 9-piece ensemble. Don't be fooled by "half-sized" bands claiming to play big band music. If you want real swing music, the full orchestra is the way to go.

On the other hand, if you're looking for jazz, blues and light swing, the Li'l Bit of Blue small ensemble will work perfectly for your event. Regardless of what you're looking for, always ask for a recording or, better yet, ask to see a band before you hire them.

What does it cost to be on Blue Moon's mailing list?

With the emergence of social media, we recently discontinued our e-newsletter. However, you can "like" us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for updates.

Does Blue Moon have any apparel for sale with their cool logo on it?

We have custom-made wind shirts and baseball jerseys, and can also arrange to have our logo embroidered on almost any other clothing item as well as many types of fabrics such as scarves, tablecloths, towels, and more. Some products can be ordered right here from the website. Otherwise, just email bandleader@bluemoonbigband.com to let us know what you're looking for, and in what sizes. Alternatively, call us at 301.639.0770 and we'll get you set up with Blue Moon gear right away.

Has the band appeared in any movies or on any television/radio programs?

Band With Kevin Bacon

The Blue Moon Big Band With Kevin Bacon

The band was selected to appear in the feature film, “My One and Only,” starring Renee Zellweger, Kevin Bacon, and Logan Lerman, which made its US debut on August 21, 2009. With regard to television and radio, we have been privileged to appear several times on each. In all, over 60 radio stations across the US have played the music of Blue Moon Big Band.

Radio programs have included National Public Radio's "Swingin' Down the Lane"—a one-hour feature broadcast dedicated solely to the music of Blue Moon Big Band—aired during the week of May 13, 2002, on over 40 stations across the US.

Additional radio stations that have played our music include:

  • WBNR "Big Band Breakfast" (Beacon, NY)
  • KBEM 88.5 "Big Band Scene" (Minneapolis, MN)
  • KEDM "Mostly Big Bands" (Monroe, LA)
  • WDCB 90.9 FM Midwest Ballroom (Chicago, IL)
  • WUKY 91.3 (Lexington, KY)
  • KAAM (Irving, TX)
  • WYPR "In the Mood" (Baltimore, MD)
  • WWLG "Legends Radio" (Baltimore, MD)
  • WTHU "The Sounds of Jazz" (Thurmont, MD)

Feature film and television performances have included:

  • “My One and Only” — 2009 feature film (Baltimore, MD)
  • “The Wake Up Baltimore Show” — in 1998 and 1999 (Baltimore, MD)
  • “The Rodrick's for Breakfast” show (Baltimore, MD), where we served as the house band for a live 1940’s-style Christmas special filmed at the Baltimore Museum of Art.
Who is the most famous performer Blue Moon has ever worked with?

In the summer of 2008, Blue Moon Big Band was selected to appear in the feature film, “My One and Only,” starring Renee Zellweger, Kevin Bacon, and Chris Noth. We had the opportunity to work closely with Kevin Bacon in particular during filming for the 2009 release, as he played the part of the band's leader.

A close second is from our December 1998 appearance on the Baltimore-based “Rodricks for Breakfast” show, where jazz legend Cyrus Chestnut unexpectedly sat in on “The Way You Look Tonight,” and it was magic. To top things off, the great Ethel Ennis appeared on the same show.

Where in the world are Blue Moon Big Band's CDs?

We have customers in all 50 states—yes, even Alaska and Hawaii—as well as the 12 countries and territories below. Thanks to everyone who has purchased one of our recordings.

  • Australia
  • Canada
  • Costa Rica
  • France
  • Germany
  • Japan
  • Mexico
  • Netherlands
  • Puerto Rico
  • Russia
  • Spain
  • United Kingdom
Swing Terms

Are you a red-hot tomato or righteous hepcat who togs the bricks when cutting a rug? If so, then you might already know these hip 1940s swing terms:

  • Jitterbug is used to describe both a style of dance and a person who likes to swing.
  • Musicians in swing bands are usually called cats, but that word can be used to address any fellow who is cool and knows the score.
  • A chick is just as cool as a cat, only in the female persuasion.
  • You can address your male friends as Jack, Gate or Pops.
  • Forget the name of the cat you just met; call him Charley.
  • Forget the name of the chick you just met; call her Sam.
  • A beautiful girl can be described as a barbecue.
  • A very stylish or classy girl is a barn burner, but her less attractive girlfriend is a battle.
  • The male equivalent of a battle is a Jeff.
  • Every cat wants to date a ripe tomato, a ring-ding woman who's got it going on.
  • When you are looking good and solid in your threads, you are togged to the bricks.
  • A smooth character who comes on to you is said to creep out like the shadow.
  • Someone who is copacetic, cool or all right is righteous.
  • A rug cutter is a twist or a very good, active dancer.
  • A man or woman that you highly admire is a gasser.
  • An unattractive battle or Jeff who is uncouth and square is a yard dog.
  • A shifty character who is unreliable or impossible to respect is a crumb or a fink.
  • The opposite of a hip cat or a chick is someone who is icky.
  • A person without talent is the original loser.
  • A yokel who is out of date or square is off the cob.
  • Any kind of failure in life is Bombsville, baby.
  • Killer diller is a great thrill.
  • Once you learn how to swing, people will be calling you chicks a twirl or a twist.
  • And, if you're a guy who understands this jive, then you are a hepcat.

Got a question for Blue Moon Big Band or Li’l Bit of Blue? Just send an email to bandleader@bluemoonbigband.com and we'll respond as soon as possible. Your question may become part of our FAQ page.

There’s nothing we appreciate more than swing fans reaching out to us.
Contact our band for all of the info you need.