Current Orchestras and Artists

There are many modern day dance orchestras and dance bands, plus a variety of artists who perform in the style of the 1920s-1940s period. It’s a burgeoning scene and rapidly gaining interest amongst younger audiences. These links will introduce you to the wonderful modern world of the dance bands. A visit to You tube will offer many performances of theses bands. If there are more to add, do contact me. 

One of the most modern of dance orchestras on the scene today is that of Alex Mendham and his Orchestra. The music is superb, using original arrangements, and often original instruments too. Alex often features the wonderful singing talents of the Dunlop Sisters, Serena and Hannah.

Michael Law’s Piccadilly Dance Orchestra offer some of the smoothest and most polished original arrangements of the Dance Band Era, plus some new material of their own. The Orchestra also features a smaller ensemble called 78rpm. Follow the link to learn more about this superb orchestra.  

The Bratislava Hot Serenaders are one of the hottest bands around and have been since 1992. From Slovakia, the band tours regularly and have visited the UK on several occasions. Well worth watching for their tour dates.

‘Spats’ Langham - ‘Hot Combination’ and ‘Hot Fingers’ - ‘Spats’ has played with many groups and orchestras and is fully immersed in the musical styles of the 20s and 30s.   

Don Neely’s Royal Society Jazz Orchestra - An American Orchestra that plays authentic  hot jazz and ‘swing’ music of the period.

The Pasadena Roof Orchestra - Since turning professional in 1975, and with hit records to follow, this UK Orchestra hardly needs any introduction.

Vince Giordano and the Nighthawks are a sensational America orchestra that have provided authentic music for listeners, plus music for the HBO series ‘Boardwalk Empire’, films such as ‘The Cotton Club’, ‘The Aviator’, and ‘Finding Forrester’.

Talented singer Barbara Rosene has made many recordings of classic material from the period, including one memorable CD with Vince Giordano and his Nighthawks Orchestra. 

Brandyn Shaw is one of the new and younger performers of material from the dance band era. Brandyn’s ability to sound uncannily like Al Bowlly and his sensitive way with a lyric, is a sheer delight.

Vo-De-O-Do Orchestra - play hot jazz and swing classics. I have no current information regarding this band, or even if they are still playing. If anyone has, please let me know.

The John Wilson Orchestra - hear the music of the films and shows - as they were intended.

The Syd Lawrence Orchestra has proved a firm favourite for over soon to be fifty years. The multi talented Chris Dean leads the band and still provides Glenn Miller favourites for an eager audience.

The Glenn Miller Orchestra directed by Ray McVay Glenn Miller as Miller was, authentic and great.

The Back To Basie Orchestra - began in 2001. Directed by trunpeter paul lacey, the orchestra features top session musicians and jazz soloists, all dedicated to playing the music of Count Basie’s second great orchestra of the 50s and 60s.

The Swing Unlimited Big Band  is based in the south of England, and allows local musicians to gain experience of playing a variety of big band music.

The Squadronaires - or the Central Band of The Royal Air Force, were one of the most popular bands of the war and post war years, featuring big band swing of the highest order, and lots of jazz. They still do, they still are. 

Originating in Bedford, ‘Swing’s The Thing’ have been on the scene for almost twenty years, and provide high quality big band sounds, plus more modern items. The musicians are a mix of professional and gifted amatuer, all of the highest standard.

Talented vocalist John Brennan has performed with many great orchestras and bands, including The Syd Lawrence Orchestra. John performed with the George Thorby Big Band for many years, until George's retirement in 2015. John currently sings with the ’12 To The Bar’ big band.

Washington Whirligig. Great Jazz and swing from this excellent recent band on the scene (2012)

The Sant Andreu Jazz Band play a variety of Jazz styles. The band consists of young players, ranging from 7-20 years of age, led by Joan Chamorro. Their version of ‘Tiger Rag’ is excellent.