Get our free newsletter
Monday nights have been dark at Bohemian Caverns since the demise of the Thad Wilson Jazz Orchestra last fall. But that’s about to change: Omrao Brown, co-owner and booker for the venerable jazz club, and baritone saxophonist Brad Linde have just finalized plans to resurrect Big Band Mondays. This time, however, it will be starring the brand new Bohemian Caverns Jazz Orchestra.
“It seems to be coming together quickly,” says Linde, who is responsible for the band’s genesis along with trumpeter Joe Herrera. “‘We’ll launch the band in April to tie it in with Jazz Appreciation Month and the Cherry Blossoms.” The official debut will be one month from today: Monday, April 19.
The band has big ambitions. The artistic direction will be collectively construed; members can contribute original material and the author of a piece will conduct the band through its performance. The band will also work with an enormous repertoire of classic jazz compositions and arrangements that the members have collected through their various other projects.
“I am so excited. Each week we’ll be doing different stuff,” says trumpeter Mark Chuvala. “Maybe different periods, like this Monday Bohemian Caverns Jazz Orchestra presents the Music of Thad Jones. Next week, Stan Kenton and Bob Mintzer.”
“It’s great news,” adds tenor saxophonist Elijah Balbed. “The scene is too strong not to have a house big band.”
Full personnel for BCJO:
REEDS Brent Birckhead, alto saxophone Sarah Hughes, alto saxophone Elijah Balbed, tenor saxophone Charles Phaneuf, tenor saxophone Brad Linde, baritone saxophone
HORNS Mark Chuvala, trumpet Joe Herrera, trumpet DeAndre’ Shaifer, trumpet Ekwueme John Williams, trumpet
Greg Boyer, trombone Dupor Georges, trombone Steve Shaw, trombone
RHYTHM SECTION Amy Bormet, piano Rodney Richardson, guitar Eric Harper, bass* Dave McDonald, drums*
*For the debut gig on April 19th, Zack Pride and Larry Ferguson will be filling in for Harper and McDonald, respectively.