By Alan Davies
Thursday, November 1, 2012
SINGER Andy Abraham shot to fame on The X Factor in 2005.
Dubbed the ‘voice of the people’, the crooner from Cheshunt finished runner-up to Shayne Ward on Simon Cowell’s ITV reality contest.
His soulful voice and down to earth personality saw him wow his mentor Sharon Osbourne, the judges and the public week after week as he took classic songs such as Unforgettable, The Greatest Love of All and Me and Mrs Jones and made them his own in soaring, searing, soulful renditions.
Seven years on, and now a platinum-selling recording artist in his own right, the former Eurovision Song Contest entrant has turned his attentions to the timeless standards from the world’s greatest band leaders.
A fantastic tribute to the magic of swing music, Andy Abraham’s History of the Big Bands arrives at the Gordon Craig Theatre, in Stevenage, on Friday.
Andy will transport the audience back to the music of the Big Band era, when every dance hall and ballroom was filled with the sounds of trumpets, saxophones, trombones, and of course, the driving pulse of the rhythm section.
The show is influenced by Harry James, Benny Goodman, Tommy Dorsey, Duke Ellington, Glenn Miller, Count Basie, Woody Herman and Buddy Rich, to name just a few.
Characterised by its swinging rhythms and room-filling orchestrations, Big Band music grew out of Dixieland and hot jazz in the 1910s and 1920s, spreading from New Orleans to Chicago and New York through the popularity of Louis Armstrong’s All-Stars and other much-loved bands of the era.
Its songs and instrumentals are some of the best known and most recognisable of the 20th century and their popularity endures today.
The History of the Big Bands sees Andy backed by a magnificent 13-piece band featuring world-class soloists taking on the famous solos as played in the famous jazz clubs and concert halls of New York, such as the Savoy Ballroom.
Recreating the atmosphere of this classic era in music, History of the Big Bands is a tribute to some of jazz music’s most legendary geniuses, including a rare performance of Sir John Dankworth’s underground classic Experiments with Mice.
Tickets cost £23. Contact the box office on 01438 363200 or visit www.gordon-craig.co.uk
The History of the Big Bands takes to the stage on Friday, November 2 at 7.45pm.