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Montclair Women's Big Band to Appear at Freight & Salvage, Berkeley, Fri. May 7
(Published: April 05, 2010)

The Montclair Women's Big Band, led by veteran trumpeter Ellen Seeling (and assistant director, saxophonist Jean Fineberg), will fill the stage at Berkeley's Freight & Salvage on Friday, May 7, in the band's first public concert of 2010. For the first time in its 12-year existence, MWBB will perform without a vocalist. Instead, the group will showcase its formidable ensemble work, outstanding soloists, and -- as always -- its audacious sense of swing.

Personnel for the Freight show will be Mad Duran, Amelia Catalano, Jean Fineberg, Annelise Zamula, Carolyn Walter (saxophones); Ellen Seeling, Tami Ellis, Christy Dana, Marina Garza (trumpets); Mara Fox, Sarah Cline, Becca Burrington (trombones); Tammy Hall (piano); Jan Martinelli (bass); and Russ Gold (drums).

"I love blues-based music," Seeling says, "and I think of myself as a blues-based improviser. I wanted a band on the Basie model, and by extension, the Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Orchestra, which I had a chance to play with a couple of times. And that's what we do. We also play a good helping of salsa."

On the Latin front, the big band will premiere their arrangement of Pat Metheny's "Song for Bilbao" as well as a blistering samba rendition of Luiz Bonfá's "Black Orpheus" (arr. Eric Richards).

Also scheduled are premieres of two compositions by band members Fineberg ("Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda") and Dana ("The Time Is Now"), as well as some big band classics. Section features include the trombones on Rob McConnell's burning arrangement of "Just Friends," and the saxophones on Bob Florence's lush version of "Body and Soul."

Featured soloists will be saxophonists Mad Duran ("Georgia on My Mind") and Jean Fineberg ("Salt Peanuts"), trombonists Sarah Cline ("Somewhere Over the Rainbow") and Mara Fox ("Cry Me a River); trumpeters Christy Dana ("Stardust"), Tami Ellis ("Lil' Darlin'"), and Ellen Seeling ("Coulda Woulda Shoulda," arr. Jean Fineberg); and pianist Tammy Hall ("Which Craft?," arr. Tom Kubis).

Recently MWBB has performed a number of private events, including The Inn at Spanish Bay for the Penscott Medical Center, Oakland Museum Gardens for Girls Inc. of Alameda County, and the grand opening of the new Citrus Heights Community Center near Sacramento. The band was also featured last month on KCSM's Caught in the Moment with Jim Bennett in celebration of International Women's Day.

In conjunction with the Jazzschool in Berkeley, MWBB is now preparing for the second annual Girls' Jazz & Blues Camp, which will take place August 9-14. Featuring an all-star women's faculty drawn from the band and the Jazzschool, this camp is the first and only summer jazz camp designed specifically for girls. MWBB will perform at the Jazzschool during Camp week, on Friday, Aug. 13. For more info, contact the Jazzschool at 510-845-5373 or girlscamp@jazzschool.com, and visit http://www.jazzschool.com....

Tickets for the Freight show are $18.50 in advance, $19.50 at the door. For concert info and tickets, please call 510-644-2020, or visit http://www.freightandsalv....

More Information: http://www.montclairwomensbigband.com

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