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The London Swing Orchestra
12 January 2019
The London Swing Orchestra (LSO) was founded in 1985 by Graham Dalby to recreate the sounds of The Jazz Age and gave its debut performance at the Hammersmith Palais on VE Day, celebrating 40 years of peace in Europe. Quickly establishing a reputation for excellence, the Orchestra gave their first overseas performances in Berlin appearing with Gloria Gaynor and James Last. The following year, they were signed by President Records and a documentary film about them was screened on BBC2. In 2015 the orchestra performed with the BBC Concert Orchestra in a live radio broadcast to celebrate thirty years.
Many tours and festivals followed, including the Hong Kong International Arts Festival, a Norwegian Jazz Festival with Miles Davis and Manhattan Transfer and at the Henley Festival, The LSO become a regular feature into the ‘90s.
Playing at a Chatsworth party for the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire, noticed and congratulated by Princess Margaret, the Orchestra were honoured with subsequent royal invitations to play at Buckingham Palace for her 60th birthday and for the 90th birthday of HM The Queen Mother. Ten years later they were delighted to return and play again at Windsor Castle for the royal birthdays, this being the Queen Mother’s centenary.
The LSO have continued to play at prestigious and historic events ranging from the anniversary of The Battle of Trafalgar aboard HMS Warrior, the 500th Anniversary of The Royal Warrant Holders, the opening ceremony of the British Museum’s Library and at Milan Fashion Week. In 1997 they recorded “Swing Classics” on the EMI label at the iconic Abbey Road studio and in the same year, played in Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong for the Handover.
At home in the UK, their music can be heard on Radio 2 and BBC TV as Graham Dalby with his orchestra was commissioned to compose the soundtrack for and feature in a crime drama series starring Dame Diana Rigg, “The Mrs Bradley Murders”, also recording a CD for BBC Records.
Touring worldwide from Dublin to Dubai, from Köln to Kuala Lumpur, the LSO’s list of London venues includes The Barbican, The Queen Elizabeth Hall and with Pink Floyd ’s Roger Waters and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra - the Royal Albert Hall.
Sought after for weddings and anniversaries, the orchestra has performed at hundreds of parties in lavish venues in Venice, Florence, Marrakech and for Valentino’s 75th in Rome they shared the stage with Annie Lennox. Memorable events include a royal wedding in Jordan and the 21st birthday party for Kate Middleton, the future Duchess of Cambridge.
From 2015 - 2017, the LSO were invited by Princess Caroline of Monaco to play at her son’s wedding in Monte Carlo and have been touring UK theatres and festivals including Twinwood, Chatham Historic Dockyard, Bletchley Park and a huge charity gala in Geneva. In 2018 the orchestra returned to Monte Carlo to perform with the legendary blues singer Taj Mahal.
This coincided with the 30th Anniversary of the London Swing Orchestra, marked with the release of a four-album anthology, on Upbeat Records, charting the development of Jazz and Swing Music from 1920 to 1965.
External Website: More details about Roses Theatre and The London Swing Orchestra
The Roses is a 370 seat theatre within a busy and popular arts centre in Tewkesbury. It has an eclectic programme of live events, take part activities, exhibitions and festivals.
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