“Marty Isenberg goes where others fear to tread"
-Bill Kirchner, Composer/jazz historian/WBGO Correspondent
The Marty Isenberg Big Band is a New York-based group that breathes new life into the tradition of independent big bands. Skillfully juggling styles, Marty Isenberg’s compositions have all the layered emotions of a symphonic composer with the gritty cleverness of an alternative rocker.
The band was formed in 2006 by a frustrated undergraduate at the New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music, whose dwindling composition program failed to offer him the performance opportunities he thought were necessary in the development of a composer. Not rounding up the typical high profile players at the New School, Marty sought players who thought less rigidly about music, and would share his passion and vision for a large ensemble that played without boundaries. After a year of searching, the band was formed, not based on the instruments usually considered necessary for a ‘jazz big band,’ but instead on highlighting the individual personalities of the band members.
The Marty Isenberg Big Band performs all over the New York scene at clubs like the Tea Lounge, the Bowery Poetry Club, Rehab (formerly Club Midway), Banbalotto and Arnold Hall. Some of their featured artists have included Natalie John (recipient of the 2005 John Coltrane Award and the 2006 Downbeat Student Award for College vocalist) Mike Baggetta (winner of the 2008 ASCAP’s Young Composers Award, and has performed with Darcy James Secret Society) Dominic Fallacaro (who has played with jazz legends Kevin Mahogany, and vocalist Freddie Cole) and the many talented performers that make up the Marty Isenberg Big Band. They have built a sizeable repertoire of original compositions and (de-)rrangements of standards.