Cab Calloway Orchestra Tickets
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Cab Calloway Orchestra
One of the United States' most popular African American big bands, Cab Calloway Orchestra creates the authentic unforgettable sensation of a Modern Jazz Orchestra in full flight. Shiny instruments all in a row, red-hot lyrics, silky smooth ensemble work and spicy brass harmonies continue to be the trade mark of Cab Calloway Orchestra.
Playing Calloway meant wearing a zoot suit, a loose-fitting, huge, overlong jacket with padded shoulders and heavily draped trousers, worn with a long watch chain and broad-brimmed hat. Signature favorites include Minnie the Moocher (Hi-De-Ho), Stormy Weather, It Ain't Necessarily So, and Geechie Joe.
The Cab Calloway Orchestra brings Harlem jazz to life by using the Calloway band's original vintage orchestrations as a point of departure, coupled with the talented musicians who have played with the big band for decades.
The Calloway family has been dazzling audiences since the 1920's. The Cotton Club emerged as a hip new club in 1930 in Harlem known for its lavish stage shows and extraordinary musicians. Calloway's performance captured the attention of the club's owner, and his band was hired instantly.
1931 song that would forever be identified with: Minnie the Moocher sold over one million copies and the band soon shattered every existing record for all-black band audiences. The song's success and a steady gig at the Cotton Club, had Calloway's big band in constant demand.
The group toured frequently by chartered train. By the late 1930s, the band's position was firmly established as one of the top grossing acts in jazz and also becoming a training ground for young talents as Dizzy Gillespie, Ben Webster, Cozy Cole and Chuck Berry.
In 1943 he appeared in the high-profile 20th Century Fox musical film, Stormy Weather. However, by the late '40s, Calloway's bad financial decisions and his gambling habit caught up with him leading to the band's breakup.
After a considerable hiatus, the band reorganized (though not on that big a scale) for a tour of South America, appearing in Montevideo, Uruguay during Carnival. On the side lines it kept playing in small clubs. Cab also landed a part in Porgy and Bess on Broadway as the character Sportin' Life.
From 1952 to 1954, Cab toured Europe and America in the role of Sportin' Life with the touring company of Gershwin's Opera, Porgy and Bess. From 1954 on, he worked as a solo act, although on occasion, he did front a big band assembled by Eddie Barefield. He also featured in film musical revue Rhythm and Blues Review with Lionel Hampton, Sarah Vaughn, Nat King Cole and others for Studio Films, Inc.
Cab continues touring nationally and internationally. Another notable role was Yeller in The Cincinnati Kid (1965), with Steve McQueen, Ann-Margret and Edward G. Robinson. Calloway's scat singing, dancing, huge personality and flashy style had made him a star and a successful recording artist.
Among the band's featured performers were trumpeters Dizzy Gillespie and Adolphus Doc Cheatham, saxophonists Ben Webster and Leon Chu Berry, New Orleans guitar ace Danny Barker, and bassist Milt Hinton. In the 1980s Calloway helped establish the Cab Calloway Museum at Coppin State College (Baltimore, Marylandand Bill Cosby helped establish a scholarship in Cab Calloway's name at the New School of Social Research New York City.
In 1994, a creative and performing arts school Cab Calloway School of the Arts was dedicated in his name in Wilmington, Delaware. He continued to perform right up until his death in 1994 at the age of 88. In 1995, Cab Calloway was inducted posthumously into the International Jazz Hall of Fame.
Though the legendary Cab Calloway is no longer among us, his grandson, Calloway Brooks, is now the leader of that blues, jazz and boogie band and continues the musical tradition. Brooks began playing guitar at the age of 7 and won musical awards by the time he was 9 years old by Guild Institute of Music and went on to become a graduate of the prestigious New England Conservatory of Music, the first major Conservatory in the US to offer a degree in Jazz Music.
In addition to the many years of experience with his grandfather Cab Calloway, Brooks had also studied with such luminaries as Charles Banacos, Jaki Byard, Robert Cogan, Hankus Netsky, Mick Goodrick, and MacArthur Award winner Ran Blake. 1977 saw Brooks first public performance with his grandfather. In 1978 he was featured in the first-ever Jazz Concert at Italy's Rome Opera House and also released his first L.P. Ikenne Rainbow.
Calloway Brooks' stage experience has included performances with the Duke Ellington and Lionel Hampton Orchestras, and musicians such as Cyrus Chestnut, Kenny Burell, and Rufus Reid. Brooks assumed leadership of The Cab Calloway Orchestra in 1998, and has performed in venues worldwide including: Carnegie Hall, The Waldorf Astoria Ballroom, The USS Hornet, The San Diego Museum of Art, Lincoln Center, The Cotton Club in Tokyo and Harlem, The Pori Jazz Festival in Finland, Dallas Symphony Hall, major Casino's (Ballys, Sands, Nugget and Atlantis) and at countless charity benefits across the country.
During the band's live performances, audience members are transported back to the golden age at the Cotton Club when Cab Calloway himself made Harlem the hot spot of New York City nightlife. Calloway, the legendary Hi De Ho man, was an energetic showman, gifted singer, talented actor and trend-setting fashion plate.
A truly larger-than-life figure in American pop culture, immortalized in cartoons and caricatures, Calloway led one of the greatest bands of the swing era. Now Brooks performs and directs the orchestra in a way that reflects his grandfather's profound influence, while maintaining his own identity. His performance style with the CCO, is often aptly described as, directly, clearly and closely related, though not at all identical.
Swing music and the big band sound is still energetic, joyous and soulful as well as appealing to audiences, young and old like it was back in 30s and 40s.