New York’s Hottest Big Band Performing on Valentine’s Day at UNCW

Birdland Big Band

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

UNCW Presents announces Live at Birdland a Valentine’s evening concert featuring Birdland Big Band with world-renowned drummer and bandleader Tommy Igoe at 7 p.m. on Feb. 14 in UNCW’s Kenan Auditorium. The world-class music event features talented musicians from numerous jazz/pop tours and Broadway shows.

Founded in NYC in 1949, the original Birdland frequently featured Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Thelonius Monk and a host of other jazz greats. Live at Birdland recreates that atmosphere with a show compromised of classic jazz pieces as well as new arrangements of pieces by such recognizable artists as Sting, Herbie Hancock and Lennon/McCartney, setting a new standard for the 21st century big band orchestra.

The band’s performances—each uniquely assembled so that no two are the same—have been described as “a music experience you simply must witness” (Time Out New York). Their newest recording, Eleven, has received numerous 5-star reviews and is currently up for three Grammy awards.

Igoe, the acclaimed band director, began drumming at age two and has gone on to craft a unique and diverse career, traveling the world with Art Garfunkel, Blood Sweat and Tears, Dave Grusin, Stanley Jordan and the New York Voices amongst many others. For the last six years, his Birdland Big Band has been the most popular weekly music event in New York City, with a Friday residency at the iconic Birdland Jazz Club. In 1997, he created the drum set book for "The Lion King" on Broadway, also serving as principal drummer and conductor. 

States Igoe, “The world doesn’t need another good big band, it needs something unforgettable, spectacular—something to bring a brand-new audience to this incredible art form.”

Also performing with Birdland at UNCW will be jazz pianist and composer, Kenneth Ascher.  He is widely known for co-writing, with Paul Williams, The Rainbow Connection — music from The Muppet Movie. Both Williams and Ascher received Oscar nominations for the 1979 Academy Awards for Best Original Song ("Rainbow Connection") and Best Original Score (The Muppet Movie Soundtrack). The song was also nominated for the Golden Globes for "Best Original Song" that same year.

Tickets are $5 for UNCW students and $22 for the general public, discounts are available. See www.uncw.edu/presents or call the Kenan Box Office at 910.962.3500 to purchase tickets.

Media Contact: Shane Fernando, 910.962.7972 or fernandol@uncw.edu