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Info about our upcoming performances can be found in the schedule section of our website.
All on-sale tickets are posted on our ticket page. If it's not listed there then it's either a free non-ticketed event, tickets aren't on sale yet, or tickets will only be sold at the door. Please contact the venue for more info.
Ryan Sheehan, a saxophone player and graduate of the Leigh Gerdine College of Fine Arts at Webster University began developing the plans for the St. Louis Big Band in early 2010 while at a secluded resort in The Ozark mountains. He was inspired by the music he heard as a child on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson and wanted to find the solitude to develop the plans for a big band that would change the landscape of jazz in the Midwest by respecting the past but embracing the future.
Latter that year he shared the plans with his family & friends and although it was the height of the recession he was hoping to find donors willing to fund the start-up of an 18 piece big band. Immediately upon hearing the idea one of his relatives wrote a check for $500, Ryan called up musicians he had recently played with and begged them to meet him the next day at Panera Bread to discuss the idea.
Convincing accomplished musicians to join a new band was no short order. Although many of the musicians were initially hesitant to commit, just like the in the Great Depression many local & regional bands had just folded due to lack of funds. Within several weeks Ryan found a place for the band to practice, brought no fewer than 18 musicians on board, and purchased equipment from a band that had gone out of business. Just weeks latter calls began rolling in for The St. Louis Big Band to cover performances vacated by other bands who had folded. The St. Louis Big Band was born.
The St. Louis Big Band performs about 50 times a year. Some years it's a few more and others it's a few less. We are fortunate enough to be able to select the performances that are the best fit for us.
Ryan met many of the St. Louis Big Band members while performing with Compton Heights Band in St. Louis, MO a concert band that is known for featuring nationally known guest artists on its summer concert series "Sunday Serenades & Musical Mondays."
In St. Louis The Casa Loma Ballroom & the Crystal Ballroom at the Renaissance Grand are our favorites. Both are historically accurate and exemplify the magnificent beauty of the big band era. Another excellent venue is The Peabody Hotel's Skyway Ballroom inMemphis, TN which is an Art Deco masterpiece.