Definition of big band in US English:

big band


  • A large group of musicians playing jazz or dance music.

    as modifier ‘the big band sound’
    • ‘Veteran big-band vocalist Rosemary Squires, who used to sing with famous wartime bands like Geraldo, Ted Heath and Syd Lawrence, gets an MBE.’
    • ‘They just couldn't believe that somebody had taken a song like that and treated it like big-band jazz, with great arrangements and their feel, but a whole different approach.’
    • ‘Way before Midge and Lance found the Sydney station, the Marsden family home was filled with the big-band sounds that Les loved, and whatever was on National Radio.’
    • ‘Khan has always dabbled with jazz and big-band music.’
    • ‘But, along with their reels, jigs and ballads, come liberal dashes of salsa, funk, and big-band jazz, combined with world-beat flavours that stretch from the Orient to the Caribbean.’
    • ‘Norman was a successful jazz and big-band singer before he began composing in the mid-1950s.’
    • ‘The big-band scene must have changed a lot over 30 years.’
    • ‘On paper, the collision of orchestral formality and big-band improvisation should have produced an utter mess.’
    • ‘Chicago's Art Ensemble, as well as being a lightning rod for that city's creativity, fashioned a whole new genre for themselves that straddled free jazz, big-band brass, African folk and street theatre.’
    • ‘Ever since the 40's bebop revolution ousted big-band swing as the dominant sound of jazz, there has been a dynamic tension between jazz as art and jazz as entertainment.’
    • ‘He is equally at home in the company of jazz groups and big bands, orchestras, rock groups and his own band The Blue Flames.’
    • ‘It is a musical trip down memory lane and showcases the diverse talents of the dancers, incorporating dance styles such as tap, jazz and big-band show dancing to the sounds of Cole Porter, Nat King Cole and Frank Sinatra.’
    • ‘Basie's is the sound that defined big-band jazz like no other.’
    • ‘In the 1920s and 30s, the island's popular music was based on American big-band jazz.’
    • ‘Lyttelton spent his early years basking in the glow of late-night radio, listening to big-band jazz blasting live from hotels across London and eagerly anticipating the next hot chorus.’
    • ‘This was an amazing achievement, especially since it was during the peak of the big-band era, and amid the developing bebop craze, when small-band jazz was considered ‘old hat.’’
    • ‘This has a new big-band jazz score by Colin Towns, who conducts a rollicking performance by his own Mask Orchestra.’
    • ‘Crooning, as its title suggests, draws on the sound of big bands and big-band singers.’
    • ‘He played successful tours the world over and is regarded as one of the greatest musicians of the big-band era.’
    • ‘Released in 2001, their first single, Shadows Fall, opens with a loping reggae rhythm topped off with barbershop quartet harmonies, before unexpectedly exploding into big-band jazz.’


big band

/ˈbiɡ ˌband//ˈbɪɡ ˌbænd/