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SWR Big Band

[Germany] Baden-Württemberg Stuttgart

Seventeen musicians – one sound. And a very convincing sound, at that. The SWR Big Band has so far been nominated four times for a Grammy. Also it received in 2015 a Jazz Award in Gold from German music industry. In the face of so much fame, it seems almost modest to say that the SWR Big Band is one of the best big bands in the world. Jazz, fusion or world music, the repertoire is large. As is the list of recent guests and collaborators: Quincy Jones, Larry Carlton, Pat Metheny, George Benson, Gary Burton, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Curtis Stigers, Jacob Collier, Patti Austin, Roy Hargrove, Sammy Nestico, Ivan Lins, Paula Morelenbaum, Ack van Rooyen, Joo Kraus, Toshiko Akiyoshi, Maria Schneider, Bill Holman, Bob Mintzer, Nils Landgren, Gary Burton, Zaz, New York Voices, Magnus Lindgren and Ralf Schmid. Or how about a shade more pop? No problem – for instance, with Paul Carrack, Max Mutzke or Götz Alsmann. Like the big bands in the USA, the SWR Big Band has its own sound, created by its founder and conductor, Prof. Erwin Lehn gently refined till today. The starting gun was first heard on April 1, 1951. Back then, the SWR Big Band was still known as a dance orchestra, the Südfunk-Tanzorchester. Lehn saw to it that the band was increasingly referred to as the “Daimler of big bands”. Ever since the early nineties, the SWR Big Band has been appearing with various bandleaders, depending on the project and style of music.