Big Bands are Part of this year’s Blues & Music Festival

(Crystal A. Proxmire, Feb. 1, 2012 ed)

The Bud Light Ferndale Blues & Music Festival will be bigger and better this year, and one show will trump them all in terms of the sheer volume of musical talent in one place.

The Bridge Project and the Grosse Pointe South Jazz Band, each with over 15 members, will showcase big band jazz at its finest at the Ferndale Elks Club (22856 Woodward Ave) on Monday, Jan. 30, 2012 from 7-9 pm as part of the City-wide festival.
This will be a huge event, literally.  The upstairs room of Elks Club will be full of happy parents and music fans listening to what Bridge Project founder Joshua James says “ain’t your granddad’s jazz band,” and a talented group of youngsters that are also mastering the art.

In a July 2011 interview, James described why the Bridge Project is unlike other other big bands. “There is a lot of big band music that people don’t hear.  The theme that is permeating this whole project is trying to get the music out there and break down the mindset in the public that big bands are all like the ones you see in the old World War II movies.  There is more to big band than Glenn Miller and Benny Goodman, but that’s what most people are exposed to when they go to see big bands play. There are big bands that have a sophisticate repertoire, and there is plenty of modern jazz written for them.  That’s the bridge we want to build.”

When James, who is also a music teacher, heard that The Ferndale Blues Festival was adding the “and Music” to its name and expanding the festival’s sounds, he approached organizers about adding big band to the mix.  Sharing the stage with students from another city helps the families get to know Ferndale, and gives them a chance to share their gift of music with people here.

“Music education is something very near and dear to my heart,” James said. “Some of the most rewarding and inspiring musical experiences of my life have been when professional musicians have taken the time to work with and encourage me. I felt that this year’s Ferndale Blues Festival would provide a fantastic opportunity for the young musicians of the Grosse Pointe South Jazz Band to learn from and play alongside the more seasoned musicians of the Bridge Project.”

The Bridge Project filled the Ferndale Public Library in July, which you can read about here – http://oaklandcounty115.com/2011/07/12/bridge-project%E2%80%99s-first-performance-packs-library/.
If the event goes well, they’re hoping to have a regular monthly performance at the Elks Club that would allow them invite local schools to come out and play with the pros.  Find out more about Grosse Pointe South Jazz Band at http://www.gpsbo.org/.  Learn more about the Bridge Project at https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Bridge-Project/235236163159032.

Support the Ferndale Blues and Music Festival by donating to them through any of the “donate” buttons on our page.  They are our Charity of Choice for Jan 2012, and 85% of the money goes to them and 15 % goes to help fund The Ferndale 115 News.  So please give what you can today.

See the schedule and official event page at www.ferndalebluesfestival.org.