The HOUSE Big Band
The House Big Band is the largest ensemble offering from Ann Arbor saxophonist, composer and band leader Bobby Streng. Like his other groups (Saxomble, Liquid Street, and the Bobby Streng Group), the House Big Band will feature his own energetic fusion of jazz, latin, and funk. This seventeen piece ensemble that Streng has assembled could easily double as the Southeast Michigan All Star Jazz Band. Members hail from the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Paul Keller Orchestra, Motor City Horns, Scott Gwinnell Jazz Orchestra, as well as the jazz faculties of the University of Michigan and University of Toledo.
Streng is no stranger to the big band genre. Since October of 2007, he has enjoyed the privilege of traveling with the Harry James Orchestra led by trumpet virtuoso Fred Radke. This has included multiple cross country tours of the US and Canada, a trip to South America, two consecutive performances at the Montreal Jazz Festival (2009 and 2010), and two double bill tours with the Glenn Miller Orchestra. In addition to his work with HJO, the Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra featured Streng in the lead alto role of Jimmy Dorsey on a 31 concert tour across the US in 2009. He also plays locally with the Paul Keller Orchestra on their weekly Monday night gig at Zal Gaz Gratto in Ann Arbor.
Streng states: “I’ve been in love with the big band sound since my dad took me to see the Count Basie Orchestra at Gilly’s Jazz Club in Dayton when I was 14. Later, my high school band director got me into the Jaco Pastorius Big Band record called the “Birthday Concert”. This showed me the funky, straight eighth groove potential of the big band. Discovering Maria Schneider’s fluid forms and orchestration cemented my love and curiosity for the large jazz ensemble instrumentation. With the House Big Band, I have combined classic voicing techniques with contemporary grooves. My hope is that audiences enjoy the spirit of the big band with a modern twist.”
The House Big Band is:
Saxes – Bobby Streng, Mark Kieme (lead), James Hughes, Andrew Bishop, Michael Hiemstra, and Mark Berger
Trumpets – Bob Jensen (lead), Jimmy Smith, Paul Finkbeiner, and Bill Lucas
Trombones – Chris Smith (lead), Steve Hunter, Matt Martinez, and John Rutherford (bass)
Rhythm – Bob Mervak (piano), Matt Henninger (electric bass), Pat Prouty (acoustic bass), Jonathan Ovalle (drums), Kris Kurzawa (guitar)