The Big Band Alumni features some musicians that are graduates of the greatest big bands of all time like Benny Goodman, Harry James, Stan Kenton, Woody Herman, Count Basie, Jimmy & Tommy Dorsey, and many others from the Big Band Era.
The Big Band Alumni is in its 21st year of existence. The band was created by musicians who were members of the big bands (largely) of the 1940’s who were responsible for the swing era. Over the 21 years there have been replacements. Like many big bands of the 40’s we also have vocalists who have always been younger than the original band members.
Over the years we have produced several CDs, one of which had five Grammy nominations. The band has been featured on radio stations all over the entire U.S. The band has performed at major concert venues as well as major fund raisers held at the Beverly Hilton, Bel Aire, and Beverly Wilshire Hotels. The band has performed with major artists such as Tony Bennett, The Four Freshmen, Bette Midler, and has done several performances at the Ronald Reagan Library. We were the featured band for seven consecutive years with the Sweet and Hot Music Festival in Los Angeles and a documentary has been produced of the band. We have been featured on KCAL news with a story done by Sylvia Lopez for which she won a Golden Mike Award for her news story on our band.
For the past fifteen years the band has rehearsed every Tuesday morning in front of a live audience ranging in age from their thirties to their nineties. Johnny Vana was our bandleader for the majority of years the band has been in existence until his passing in October 2019.