Mini big band bringing the sounds of the Swing Era back to life
The Down for the Count Orchestra is a vintage orchestra which performs the music of Frank Sinatra, Billie Holiday, Nat ‘King’ Cole, Ella Fitzgerald and many more. The Down for the Count Orchestra is our largest line-up, and is an expanded version of our All-Stars Band – featuring a larger horn and rhythm section, and a luscious string section. The result has been described by DownBeat magazine as “a sonic ride back to the sounds of Capitol Studios in the 1950s” – and a recent review of our tour said “you won’t find a better interpretation of these golden tunes anywhere in the UK right now” (Stage Reviews). The Orchestra performs faithful transcriptions of some of the greatest hits of the Swing Era, taking its main inspiration from the Capitol Studios recordings that bought Frank Sinatra, Nat ‘King’ Cole and Peggy Lee to worldwide fame, and the influential Ella Fitzgerald “Songbook” sessions, masterminded by Norman Granz. Our show also explores the various ways jazz and swing musicians have involved strings in their music – so you might see and hear excerpts from the Charlie Parker With Strings albums, or recreations of classic tunes from the Tommy Dorsey or Harry James big bands of the 1940s (both of which involved strings). We also breathe new life into jazz standards, with original arrangements and orchestrations written by our principal conductor Mike Paul-Smith and associate musical director Simon Joyner. Above all, every song is performed with love and respect for the original artists, and the collective friendship of the musicians on stage rubs off on audiences who return to see the Orchestra over and over again.