Founded in 1998, the 21st Century Swing Band had its premiere performance on New Year’s Eve as part of First Night® Pittsburgh ’99. In a memorable session at one of Pittsburgh’s most famous landmarks, the Westin William Penn Hotel, MCG Jazz executive producer Marty Ashby gathered some of the best jazz musicians and educators in western Pennsylvania. The band includes Maureen Budway, vocals; Mike Tomaro, flute soprano and tenor saxophones; Jim Guerra, flute, alto and baritone saxophones; Steve Hawk and James Moore, trumpets; Jay Ashby, trombone and percussion; Max Leake, keyboard; Dwayne Dolphin, bass; and Roger Humphries, drums.
Since its inception, this 10-piece band has performed regionally as part of the Frick Art & Historical Center’s Music for Exhibitions, Jazz at Seven Springs Festival, Slippery Rock University Jazz Festival, Penn State University Fayette, Coal and Coke Heritage Festival, the Pittsburgh G-20 “Welcome to the World” opening reception at Heinz Field and the Animal Crackers Jazz Series at the Racine Zoo in Racine, WI.
Pittsburgh Jazz Legacy features this extraordinary 10-piece 21st Century Swing Band for 15 selections, honoring 15 Pittsburgh jazz legends. Mike Tomaro and John Wilson arranged the big band tracks, which feature guest appearances by Joe Negri on guitar and John Wilson on Flugelhorn.
Millennium Sing, the band’s first CD, with its 13 hot vocal and instrumental selections proves the timeless music from America’s Swing era of the 1940’s is alive and well in the new millennium.