The BILL ELLIOTT SWING ORCHESTRA, fifteen musicians and five singers strong, plays exciting swing music in the styles of the '30s, '40s, and '50s, with a twist: much of the band's repertoire has been written in the '90s by leader Bill Elliott, a composer and arranger whose songs have been prominently featured in the films INDEPENDENCE DAY, NIXON, KILLER, DICK TRACY and the upcoming STICKS, as well as the TV series NORTHERN EXPOSURE, EARLY EDITION, RELATIVITY, INK, and many others.
The Swing Orchestra, formed in 1993, was an outgrowth of Elliott's success in writing original, vintage-sounding swing music for film, television and commercials. He has assembled many of L.A.'s hottest musicians for his mission of recreating the authentic fire and style of the big bands at their peak in the late '30s. The band also features BILL'S LUCKY STARS, a vocal quartet who sing in the close-harmony style of the Pied Pipers and the Modernaires.
Playing a dominant role in Southern California's current swing revival, Elliott's band is a favorite among young dancers who jitterbug and Lindy Hop with the same skill and abandon as the kids of fifty years ago. The band has appeared before large crowds at the Avalon Casino Ballroom on Catalina Island, the Indian Wells Jazz Festival, Ambassador Auditorium in Pasadena, the Greek Theater with singer Michael Feinstein, and the Starlight Bowl in Burbank. It has been featured in the Disney® TV Movie " Tower of Terror" and in a highlighted segment on the Jerry Lewis Telethon accompanying both Jerry Lewis and Merv Griffin. The band's first CD release, SWING FEVER, received enthusiastic support at jazz radio stations around the country, and has been featured on several nationally syndicated big band radio programs. SWING TIME MAGAZINE says of their second CD, CALLING ALL JITTERBUGS!: "Five more martinis (their highest rating) are on the way".
Elliott finds that being a working bandleader complements his activities in film and television. He has used his band as the core of a large orchestra when arranging the songs for Disney's sequels to ALADDIN: THE RETURN OF JAFAR and ALADDIN AND THE KING OF THIEVES, which make use of his distinctive swing style. Four of Elliott's songs, in the styles of various eras from the '20s through the '50s, were used in the Oliver Stone film NIXON, and eight of his songs are in the film KILLER starring James Woods. Elliott's swing music also appears in the hit film INDEPENDENCE DAY and Disney's remake of THAT DARN CAT. Bill and the band appeared as themselves (circa 1939) in the recent Disney® TV movie TOWER OF TERROR.
Besides playing the original music of its leader, the band performs authentic arrangements from the golden years of swing, including music by Tommy Dorsey, Artie Shaw, Benny Goodman, Bunny Berigan, Jimmie Lunceford, Chick Webb, and Duke Ellington. But again, with a twist: it avoids playing the overly familiar chestnuts in favor of lesser-known delights from the past. His band seems to have leaped out of a time machine, and performs with all the excitement, sophistication, and enthusiasm of the best bands of the swing era.
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The Bill Elliott Swing Orchestra, contact Bill at: