videos by Harold McAleer
An extension of Dave’s small bands, his fourteen piece orchestra was formed in 1989. The focus of this band was playing and preserving the classic sounds of the big band era.
Now an 18-piece band, members here were:
Dave Whitney, leader
Brittany Betts, vocals
Guitar: Karen Quatromoni, vocals
Piano Steve Dale,
Bass Dave LeBleu,
Drums Reid Jorgensen
This orchestra is comfortable playing for the listener and is equally at ease playing for dancers. Besides saluting the big name bands such as Benny Goodman, Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Tommy Dorsey, Glenn Miller, and Harry James, the Whitney Orchestra also plays the music of other fine bands such as Tony Pastor, Vaughn Monroe, Frankie Carle, Scat Davis and Red Nichols.
They greeted the full house with Dave’s theme song, When Somebody Thinks You’re Wonderful, and continued for an exhilarating afternoon of fine swing and Jazz.
Well known in New England for his work with the Yankee Rhythm Kings, White Heat Swing Orchestra, and Chris Powers Orchestra, Dave Whitney was influenced by Louis Armstrong, Bix Beiderbecke, Bobby Hackett and many other great trumpeters of the pre-bop era. Dave has been called “Premier early style trumpeter” of this area” and “Dean of swing trumpet”. He was featured on Boy Meets Horn, and sang several tune including Marie and Sam, You Made The Pants Too Long.
Pianist Steve Dale was featured on Sunrise Serenade. Steve does many arrangements, and transcribed Louis Armstrong’s Back ‘o Town Blues.
An original member of the band, Reid Jorgensen’s drums pulsated on Louis Prima’s Sing, Sing, Sing.
Trumpeter Brittany Bett’s sang several songs, including And The Angels Sing,
Guitarist Karen Quatromoni sang Peggy Lee’s Let’s Do It and I’m Beginning To See The Light.
Jeff Hughes was featured on flugelhorn with Billy Strayhorn’s Lush Life.
Jeff and Kathleen Howland blew the roof off on Count Basie’s 920 Special.
Art Bakopolus, another one of the band’s originals, was featured on alto sax with All of Me.
Diane Heffner, clarinet, played in a medley of The Things I Love, Peaceful In The Country, and Something New.
There was even a touch of Dixieland, with a six-piece Band within a Band: Jeff Hughes & Dave Whitney trumpets, Dave Jost trombone, and Mike Strauss clarinet, Steve Dale piano, Dave LeBleu bass, playing Battle Hymn of the Republic.
Dave closed with everyone taking a fabulous solo on Mary Lou Williams’ Roll ’em.
The Dave Whitney Orchestra has entertained for numerous swing dance parties and has performed at Ryles, the Sherborn Inn, Rockingham Ballroom, Bridgwaye Inn, and bi-monthly at Angelica’s in Middleton, MA. The Band now has a compact disc titled “Swingin’ at the Wunderbar”. To get the CD email Dave firstname.lastname@example.org or write to Dave Whitney 33 Wyman rd.Bilerica,Ma. 01821. $15, add $2 for shipping.
Intro: When Somebody Thinks Your Wonderful
Big John Special
Don’t Get Around Much Anymore
I’m Beginning To See The Light
Back o’ Town Blues
All of Me
Let’s Do It
And The Angels Sing
Battle Him of the Republic
Sing Sing Sing
Are You Having Any Fun?
I Can’t Believe That You’re in Love With Me
Too Little Time
Sam, You Made The Pants Too Long
The Music Makers
Back Home Again in Indiana
The Things I Love
Peaceful In The Country
Boy Meets Horn