In our Winter 2018 hard copy version of the BJA newsletter, Bob Jacobson presented
an overview of the 33 big bands in the metro Baltimore area (“Baltimore-Area BIG BANDS Abounding“). Today we begin profiling each ensemble, with our Big Band of the Week series.
Bayside Big Band, which evolved from a Department of Defense employee big band at Ft. Meade, began in 1982. Trumpeter Steve Young, 77, currently leads the band. They advertise themselves as playing “Swing, Latin & Ballroom Dancing” music, which includes tunes made famous by Count Basie, Glenn Miller, Benny Goodman, the Tonight Show Orchestra and Brian Setzer. Like so many other big bands in this area, the roster includes seventeen instrumentalists and two vocalists. Young proudly states that the band includes trombonist Joe Jackson from the Air Force’s jazz big band, the Airmen of Note.
For five to six years the band played about 50 gigs per year, including 3 – 5 year stints at Eastpoint Clipper in Annapolis, Cancun Cantina and Bamboo Bernie’s in Severna Park. They have played summer concerts in Glen Burnie for 20 years. Other venues have included Lurman Woodland Theater in Catonsville and weddings. Young says that his biggest challenge these days is trying to get gigs and his second biggest challenge is finding people to play them. Like other big bands in this area, they have a pared-down ensemble of 10 musicians which plays bi-weekly at Bavarian Brauhaus in Hanover, Maryland.
Bayside Big Band’s web site is www.baysidebigband.com. There you will find four videos of their performances. Another two videos are on youtube.com, live at Blob’s Park and Lurman Woodland Theater.