Mike James Orchestra Big Band Stockport, Cheshire
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A big band is a type of musical ensemble that originated in the United States and is associated with jazz and the Swing Era typically consisting of rhythm, brass, and woodwind instruments totalling approximately 12 to 25 musicians.
The terms jazz band, jazz ensemble, jazz orchestra, stage band, society band, and dance band may describe this type of ensemble in particular contexts.
A standard 17-piece instrumentation evolved in the big-bands, for which many commercial arrangements are available.
This instrumentation consists of five saxophones (most often two altos, two tenors, and one baritone), four trumpets, four trombones (often including one bass trombone) and a four-piece rhythm section (composed of drums, acoustic bass or electric bass, piano and guitar).
However, variants to this instrumentation are common. Composers, arrangers, and bandleaders have used sections with more or fewer players, and additional instruments, such as valve trombone, baritone horn/euphonium (both of which are usually used in place of or with trombones), vibes, bass clarinet, French horn, tuba, banjo, accordion and strings (violin, viola, cello).
Male and female vocalists have also joined big bands to perform particular arrangements. In recent years synthesizers and / or electronic keyboards have been added, often replacing the piano.
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