Around one hundred years ago, African-American music called ‘jazz’ exploded onto the international music scene and changed the world forever. Originating in the communities of New Orleans in Louisiana in the late 19th / early 20th centuries, this fresh new style of music captivated imaginations and it wasn’t long before it had spread far and wide, reaching the UK just before the start of the Second World War.
Key idols such as Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, Benny Goodman and Al Jolson were developing their own unique styles and became some of the most prolific jazz musicians during this era. The big swing bands such as the Fletcher Henderson Orchestra, The Original Dixieland Jazz Band and Glen Miller & His Orchestra also made their mark on the musical landscape.
Chicago was at the centre of the jazz world for most of the 1920s until it spread further afield to New York, which then became the hub for jazz musicians across the country. Famous and well known jazz and swing songs became entrenched in the culture – including million seller records such as Whispering, Sonny Boy and Sweet Georgia Brown.
The 1930s saw some of the best jazz songs being produced including many upbeat records such as Cheek to Cheek, Winter Wonderland and Pennies from Heaven. Songwriters like George Gershwin and Cole Porter gave us a huge range of well known Broadway hits which were then adapted for the silver screen.
This important era in the world of jazz music inspired many post-war bands to perform the greatest hits of those decades and The Pasadena Roof Orchestra established over 50 years ago in 1969 is no exception. Many hotels at the time hosted events on their rooftop gardens hence the reference alongside one of their first covers, Home in Pasadena.
The band has been playing all over the world since its inception – across Germany, Kuala Lumpar, Hong Kong and the USA to name but a few. We are really excited that for the first time, they will be appearing in Ross-on-Wye during the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee weekend on Saturday 4th June, bringing their infamous repertoire of hits including I’m Crazy ’bout My Baby, Jubilee Stomp, It Don’t Mean a Thing If You Ain’t Got That Swing and You’re the Cream in My Coffee. Grab your free ticket while you can by registering online here.