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 evening sessions 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.
For our February 11th Concert, in the true style of the Big Bands of the swing era, we are pleased to join with “The Crooners”, London’s own Rick Kish and Connor Boa for some traditional Big Band vocals.
Rick Kish & Connor Boa have been working together onstage for the past 10 years. They have a unique connection and a blend that has impressed audiences since Connor was 15 and Rick, well…older!!
Rick & Connor, under the banner of LINK theatre & concerts & Rick Kish & Friends, perform many Crooner themed concerts in the London and surrounding area and around the province of Ontario, accompanied by The Nevin Campbell Trio! “The Crooner Show”, “The Crooner Christmas Show”, “a really Retro CROONER Christmas”, to name a few… They are both passionate about this music and equally thrilled to be working with “Big Bandemic”! They’ve both dreamed about the big band days and the whole immersive experience of being surrounded by all those instruments as they sing. They can’t wait to share this experience with you from the stage at the Historic Aeolian Hall!
Rick is a 3 times nominated, and the recipient of the FCLMA 2019 Jazz Vocalist Award. Rick tours a variety of shows around the province of Ontario, including “The Crooner Show” and “a really Retro CROONER Christmas” with his company LINK theatre & concerts (www.linktheatre.ca) and Rick Kish & Friends. Involved in the London music and theatre scene for many years, having performed and directed on the main stage at The Grand Theatre, the Auburn Stage (formally McManus Studio Theatre), Wolf Performance Hall, The Palace, Paul Davenport and many other venues and spaces, Rick is a proud Londoner. Rick teaches singing and acting lessons from his in home studio in West London.
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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