The Brackley Big Band making a splash

An eclectic group of Brackley musicians are single-handedly introducing a new generation to the sounds of a bygone era.

The Great Central Big Band consists of 23 people which includes everything from trombonists and trumpeters to vocalists and percussionists.
The band rose from the ashes of another Brackley band and is led by drummer Lee Smith.

One of the band summer appearances

One of the band summer appearances

Lee said: “It was the Brackley Jazz Orchestra and I played in that band for about a year.
“About three or four years ago they asked me of I would take it over. I said yes but not as a community band that does one gig a year.
“It’s not worth getting twenty odd people together once a year so if we are going to do it we’ll do it properly.”

Lee’s vision for the band was multiple gigs at various venues across the region and to that end the band has had over 20 gigs this year with positive feedback.
Lee said: “In the summer we went out and did a bunch of festivals. I like doing the rock festivals.

"You get about 20 seconds of head scratching and then you play some Sinatra and the crowd go ‘oh right’.
“Because they are not expecting it it tends to go down really well.”

They have released an album called On Track and are already planning the follow up with music written by piano player Mike Kemp.

Lee Smith on drums and The Great Central Big Band

Lee Smith on drums and The Great Central Big Band

Lee said: “He’s really talented and has been writing for the band which is really unusual. To be a big band in 2018 and playing original music is really cool.”
The band play a monthly residency gig at Brackley Bowls Club with the next gig on October 20 followed by performances on November 10, and December 15.

For more info visit www.greatcentralbigband.co.uk.