Genre: Big Band
Venue 1: Phee Broadway
Date: Sunday 9 June, 2.40pm
Venue 2: Theatre Royal
Date: Sunday 9 June, 6pm
Jo Cossor - vocals (and bells)
Treena Costin - vocals
Alison Davey - vocals + piano
Doug McGregor - saxes, clarinet and trombone
Lauren Ritchie - alto sax
Erin Ritchie - tenor sax and clarinet
David Roe - trumpet and trombone
Rob Humphrey - trumpet and vocals
David Ashfield - trombone and tuba
Lorne Campbell - drums
Stephen McGregor - double bass
High Society Jazz Orchestra was formed in 2007 by Wangaratta-based musician and music teacher Doug McGregor, after being inspired by the sounds of Michael McQuaid’s Red Hot Rhythm Makers. Doug plays clarinet and saxophones and is still part of the current line-up, which includes three reed players, two trumpets, trombone, piano, drums and double bass.
Initially focusing on the ‘hot, sweet and novelty’ sounds of the 1920s and 30s, the orchestra has branched out into other genres, including the male ‘crooners’ and the swinging big band sounds of the 1940s.
Rob Humphrey plays trumpet and provides an authentic interpretation of 1920s male jazz vocals. Jo Cossor brings a range of vocal styles from Betty Boop to Ella Fitzgerald.
A major feature of the group is the ‘Society Sisters’. Jo is joined by Alison Davey and Treena Costin on vocals to authentically recreate the three-part female vocal harmonies made famous initially by the Boswell Sisters in the 1920s and 30s, and later by the Andrews Sisters.
Primarily based in Wangaratta, the band draws on musicians from the surrounding areas, including Benalla, Albury/Wodonga, Yackandandah, and as far afield as Melbourne.
High Society Jazz Orchestra has performed at the Castlemaine Jazz Festival every year since its inauguration in 2014 and is delighted to be involved again in 2019. The band also performs regularly at other jazz festivals, including the Wangaratta Festival of Jazz and has also performed for the Victorian Jazz Club.