The Belfast Jazz and Swing Orchestra

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The Belfast Jazz Orchestra

The Belfast Jazz Orchestra





The Belfast Jazz and Swing Orchestra is dedicated to the performance and encouragement of Big Band swing and the jazz music of suck composers as Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Glen Millar etc.

Since it's formation in 1990 the Belfast Jazz Orchestra featured many world famous artists :-

Johnny Barnes, Campbell Burnap, Digby Fairweather, Sonny Fortune, Lee Konitz, George Masso, Ken Peplowski, Spike Robinson, Bobby Shew, Scott Stroman, Bob Wilber and Roy Williams.

The group has appeared at each Mid-Summer and Holywood Jazz Festival since these events began in 1988 and has appeared at festivals throughout Northern Ireland.  It has raised over 4,000 for various charities including Leukaemia Research and the William Keown Trust for the handicapped, in addition to assisting with fund raising for the Donegall Pass Community Association, Cooke Rugby Club, Balmoral Golf Club etc.  In order for the Orchestra’s standard to be improved it has organised workshop/rehearsals with noted Jazz educationalists, Eddie Harvey, Scott Stroman, and Bob Wilber.

The band, together with the Ulster Youth Jazz Orchestra, were awarded a National Lottery Grant of up to 27,306 for the purchase of musical instruments and amplification.

In addition to the monthly performance the Orchestra has been actively involved in raising large amounts of money in support of charities ranging from Leukaemia Research, The William McKeown Trust for the Handicapped, Chernobyl Children Fund, British Diabetic Society and other charities. For example the Orchestra performed at ‘Jacksons Hotel’, Ballybofey, Co Donegal, Republic of Ireland on 1st March 1996 for a charity event in aid of the Chernobyl Children’s Fund. Our performances have helped provide improvements for access for the disabled to the Belmont Social Club.

The Orchestra also has appeared at a large number of Community and Jazz Festival events including a regular appearance at the Holywood Jazz Festival, and venues at the Dockers Club, La Mon House Hotel, Balmoral Golf Club, Donegal Pass Association, Omagh Arts Festival, White Gables Hotel, Hillsborough and Lisburn Golf Club.


The Belfast Jazz Orchestra has tried to devise an artistic programme to continue to provide opportunities for those interested in improvisation, composing, arranging, performing, and listening to large ensemble jazz. The Orchestras will continue to encourage this by organising workshops, summer courses, tours, rehearsals and performances involving local musicians, and we would hope visiting specialists, and covering as varied a spectrum of age and ability as funds will allow.





Designed by Mark Bingham