Swing Machine Jazz Orchestra (SMJO)
SMJO is an 18 piece Jazz Orchestra that draws together some of the finest musicians in the country to form one of the South West's leading professional Big Bands.
SMJO brings together some of the UK's finest jazz musicians under the leadership of saxophonist Edward Leaker.
SMJO are pleased to announce their year long residency at brand new concert venue Cedars Hall in Wells featuring special guests. See below or 'Events' page for dates.
The band’s repertoire consists of big band favourites as played by the likes of Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Thad Jones, Buddy Rich and Sammy Nestico as well modern pop arrangements and latin jazz that will get you dancing in the aisles!
The original concept for the band was to form a professional big band that would showcase the talents of the many excellent jazz musicians in the South West of England whilst performing classic and modern big band music to the highest level. So far the audience response has been staggering with a string of sell out concerts to their name.
The musicians’ collective experience is truly exceptional. Between them they have performed for some of the top musical groups in the country including: Piccadilly Dance Orchestra, Strictly Come Dancing Live Band, National Youth Jazz Orchestra (NYJO), Rat Pack National Touring Shows, BBC Big Band, RPO, LSO, Syd Lawrence Orchestra and literally hundreds of smaller bands. The Orchestra has been performing to packed audiences since 2010 and has received rave reviews from audiences and musicians alike.
SMJO are now officially supported by YAMAHA UK and are very happy to be using their DXR and DXS sound systems.
"The first time I worked with Ed it just clicked. We had a fantastic time and the band were amazing" (Clare Teal)
SATURDAY 15th JULY 2017
SWING MACHINE JAZZ ORCHESTRA - 7pm
Cedars Hall, Wells - Swing Machine residency continues with this fantastic gig.
**Featuring fabulous internationally acclaimed jazz vocalist CLAIRE MARTIN**
“Claire is unbeatable and sets the standard for all us singers.” (Jamie Cullum)
“The most gifted jazz singer this country has produced in 20 years…”
“She ranks among the four or five finest female jazz vocalists on the planet.”
(Jazz Times USA)
MORE DATES TO BE ANNOUNCED SOON!
SMJO Big Band CD recorded at the legendary Monnow Valley Studios in South Wales
Available at SMJO concerts OR:CLICK HERE TO BUY IT ONLINE NOW!
LISTEN TO CLIPS FROM THE ALBUM HERE!
Click HERE to join our mailing list so that you can be among the first to hear about future events
BOOK Swing Machine Jazz Orchestra for your Wedding, Party, Corporate Event, Festival Etc. Programme tailored to suit each individual event. Just click HERE to make an enquiry!
Swing Machine Big Band has featured the following musicians:
Saxophones: Edward Leaker, Andy Tweed, Karen Street, Jamie Phippen, Lisa Tregale, Jake McMurchie, Andy Keenan, Chris Caldwell, Ben Waghorn, Ben Carruthers, Steve Hacking, Damian Cook, Jade Gall
Trumpets: Jonny Bruce, John Ruddick, Nick Malcolm, Graham Hutton, Paul Denegri, Andy Hague, Andy Champion, Robin Pengilley, Gethin Liddington, Kevin Harcourt
Trombones: Jon Hopes, Terry Kelly, Andy Fawbert, Vince Ford, Keith Thomas, Bob Martin, Luke Gilbert, Dave Smallwood, Jamie Tweed, Alex Stewart, Andy Derrick
Piano: Colin Mitchell, Ruth Hammond, Paul Buck, David Newton, Andy Nowak
Bass: Al Swainger, Will Harris, Dave Guy
Guitar: Neil Burns
Drums: Mark Whitlam, Eddie John, Kevin O'Rourke, Jon Whitfield
Vocalist: Heather Wensley
Clare Teal - Critically acclaimed jazz vocalist and BBC Radio 2 broadcaster (July 2015 and Nov 2016)
Jason Rebello - Award winning jazz pianist and collaborator with Sting & Jeff Beck (Dec 2016)
Here are just some lovely comments that have been emailed to us from audience members after recent concerts:
"Your jazz orchestra is simply the best big band I have ever heard live: brilliant in all respects..."
"Ed! Just wanted to tell you asap that tonight's concert was totally tremendous, so glad we made it, Basie and Ellington eat your heart out!! Great bunch of musos, great arrangements and a truly unique experience, where today could you go to hear 16 great players and the glorious talent that is Heather? Nowhere! Very special, the folks next to us had been before and thought this was even better...."
"I have been meaning to contact you since coming to the big band gig you gave at Wedmore opera festival last year. Wow, what an evening! ...I am originally from Surrey and used to go to events at Fairfield halls, Festival Hall, Royal Albert hall, Hammersmith Odeon, plus many jazz and blues clubs. I have seen the best - Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Buddy Rich, Muddy Waters, Buddy Guy, Jimmy Smith, Oscar Peterson, Earl Hines, Chris Barber, Humph, Buck Clayton, Howling Wolf, Sonny Boy Williamson and...... I CAN HAPPILY PUT YOU AND YOUR BAND IN THE MIDDLE OF THAT LOT!!!"
"It was very satisfying to hear a west country based big band that is as good as any of the big name touring bands we see on the circuit... I have to congratulate you on your leadership. I hope that you won't think this as patronising, but to firstly want to take on such responsibility at a comparatively young age speaks a great deal about you. You obviously command the respect of all your musicians and your gentle and appropriate sense of humour makes a comfortable bridge between band and audience. Not all band leader have that quality...."
"Fantastic performance tonight. We loved it all..."