With the start of the pandemic in early 2020, all live wind-instrument playing stopped. By the end of the year, musicians were restless to find a place to play, so Karl Hermann and John Thompson started a group that used the Internet to allow people to play together, but from home. The musicians could hear and see each other online. What to call the Group? Big Bandemic — what else?
The online sessions were chaotic, especially because of the inherent delays in Internet technology. But the musicians persisted, and Big Bandemic held eighteen sessions in the first half of 2021.
With the re-opening of the country in 2021, the band quickly moved to regular Monday eveningsessions at the Lambeth Legion. The arrangement included physical distancing and masks when not playing. Big Bandemic has since held forty-six two-hour rehearsals at the legion and has performed three free concerts at the Lambeth Legion. In June 2022, the band participated in the inaugural Aeolian Jazz Festival.
The 17-piece big band grew out of necessity because of the pandemic, but we plan to play together for as long as the musicians enjoy the experience.
Rick is several times nominated and holds the title of Forest City London Music Awards Jazz Vocalist 2019. He is honoured to be back at The Aeolian Hall Jazz & Musical Arts Festival (AJAMAF), this year as Rick Kish & Friends! These guys have been doing shows together, all over the place for quite some time. In particular they were super fortunate to essentially hold a monthly spot at Jazz On The Thames at Michael’s On The Thames from February 2019 through every possible opportunity available during the pandemic to December 2022. They tour extensively with LINK theatre & concerts as a really Retro CROONER Christmas & The Crooner Show which was seen most recently in Ingersoll at ITOPA and the Globus Theatre in Bobcaygeon, ON this past summer.
The fellas are excited to head to The Century Church Theatre in Hillsburgh, Ontario this Fall with The Crooner Show
Rick has performed onstage at the Grand Theatre in London, Huron County Playhouse, Drayton Festival Theatre, Port Stanley Festival Theatre, Blyth Festival Theatre, Bluewater Summer Playhouse, and elsewhere…
He served as Artistic Director at Port Stanley Festival Theatre, The Bluewater Summer Playhouse and LINK theatre & concerts…
Connor Boa is a jazz vocalist and actor based out of London Ontario. He came to London nearly 10 years ago and in that time he has had the opportunity to work with many amazing musicians, artists, creators and performers as well as work on many amazing shows, such as a really Retro CROONER Christmas, The Crooner Show and many other shows with LINK theatre & concerts. He has also had the chance to work amongst many great actors in theatre at the Grand Theatre, Palace theatre and many more. Jazz music has always been something that is in Connor’s blood with many accrediting him to have that true and authentic crooner sound from the Frank Sinatra days of music. He is extremely excited to join Big Bandemic and live out a dream to sing with a true big band.
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