Bobby Streng - Group Shot - credit Chuck Andersen copy

This group is a weekly gathering of rotating musicians at my home studio. We drink coffee, read new music, flush out arrangements, and rehearse a growing repertoire that reflects the voices of our members. This collective of like minded creators is my vehicle and inspiration for original music.

2019 saw the recording of “Safe and Loved”. This project is my most personal record to date - six tracks written for and dedicated to my daughters (who also did the artwork for the release). This emotion filled instrumental music is tuneful, melodic, and obsessive in its attention to the importance of the arrangement.

Bobby Streng, saxophones/composer
Christopher Plansker, piano/composer
Eric Nachtrab, bass
Adam James, drums
Matt Callaway, guitar

“You Better Watch Out” when Theo Gridiron Spight and I get together. It is always a good time for the audience and the band. His soulful baritone voice was perfect to feature over my Motown inspired holiday arrangements. This is Christmas music from Detroit made with groove, soul, and a whole lot of love.

Bobby Streng, saxophones/arranger
Theo Gridiron Spight, vocals
Phil Whitfield, keys
Chuck Bartels, bass
Adam James, drums
Matt Callaway, guitar

The House Big Band

House Big Band Photo BW - credit John Lilley

My favorite instrumentation to write for is full jazz ensemble. I’ve been in love with big bands since my dad took me to see the Count Basie Orchestra at Gilly’s Jazz Club in Dayton when I was only 14.  Later, the Jaco Pastorius Big Band opened me up to 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.

We released our first record “Getting Housed” in 2011 featuring 8 of my compositions and arrangements.

The first track, “Fred’s Way”, is dedicated to the great Fred Radke, leader of the Harry James Orchestra. I couldn’t think of a better way to start my first big band record than paying tribute to my boss, friend, and mentor. The song is based on a funky Nat Adderley tune that Fred showed me on a New Years Eve gig right after I start playing with the band.

“Twin Call” is my favorite track on this record. I started and finished the chart the night before the live recording session. This six minute ballad reharmonization of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star was written for and dedicated to my twin daughters who were born only a few weeks later. My friend and University of Michigan professor, Andrew Bishop, plays the extended tenor saxophone feature beautifully. I was fighting back tears on the performance.

I am working with vocalist/pianist Bob Mervak on plans to record the next House Big Band record. This one will include my reinterpretations of popular music featuring Bob’s signature vocals.


saxomble - credit Chuck Andersen copy

Five saxophones plus rhythm section. Don’t let the instrumentation fool you - this is NOT a supersax group. This is a big band without the brass, but you won’t miss them! I’ve amassed a library of original music for this octet that the Dayton Daily News called “a high energy modern pairing of jazz and rock.” This is the perfect description for our debut recording “Live at the Firefly”.