It is hard to believe that I have been putting bands together for over twenty three years! It seems like yesterday that John Laverty and I were talking about the first rehearsal and what we should be playing back in 1984.
I want to thank my family for dealing with the loud noises that are often accompanied with these projects when recording and mixing. I certainly wouldn't be able to do these projects without their support. Thanks Kristy, Mitchell, Louis, Sarah and to Joe who is serving in the California Army National Guard Infantry.
The band in its’ Chicago life has come a long way and has proved to be one of the best anywhere. What I am most proud of is the identity that has emerged. Arrangers such as Tom Matta, Tom Garling, Chris Madsen, Jim Martin, Paul McKee and our new west coast friend Don Schamber, are mostly responsible for this identity. It is the sound and personality that distinguish this band from other very good bands. In addition to the arrangements, it is the collection of musicians that also determines the personality of the band. I have been very lucky to have a core of musicians who have been playing in the band for over fifteen years! These people are my close friends who are also considered to be some of the best jazz musicians in Chicago. I am proud to have each and every one of them on the bandstand every time we play. I have to recognize Bob Frankich, Brian Jacobi and Bob Rummage who have been with me since the start of the Chicago based band and particularly Bob Rummage who has been the regular drummer since its inception in 1984.
Rob Parton is well known nationally and internationally for the JAZZTECH Big Band and its six critically acclaimed compact discs’ on the Sea Breeze Jazz label. Parton enjoys assembling some of the finest musicians in Chicago to perform cutting edge big band jazz. The band features regularly the many styles of big band jazz music ranging from Count Basie to Buddy Rich. The JAZZTECH Big Band has performed numerous times at the MidWest Clinic in Chicago, Jazz Unites Tribute to Duke Ellington, numerous collegiate Jazz festivals and professional jazz festivals all over the country.
Rob Parton’s JAZZTECH Big Band founded by Rob Parton in 1984, has been performing and recording in Chicago since 1990. Parton has been assembling top tier musicians to play its music since its inception. The band is modeled after the Thad Jones-Mel Lewis Jazz Orchestra with a bit of the Stan Kenton philosophy added where creating new works for jazz orchestra is the foundation of the bands existence.
Throughout the year Parton hosts college and high school bands to serve as opening acts at their home club FtizGerald’s. This is an excellent opportunity for young aspiring jazz musicians to get a chance to hear a full blown professional big band comprised of some of the finest musicians in the country close up and in person.
The Chicago Tribune has called the JAZZTECH Big Band "one of the best big bands in the country". The Chicago Sun Times characterizes the band with "hard hitting ensemble brightly crafted harmonies and expansive solos". Cadence Magazine reviews the JAZZTECH Big Band as "a band with no discernible weaknesses, one that fairly bristles with vitality and enthusiasm, that reduces even the most formidable charts and demanding unison passages to ho-hum routine".
Rob’s goal for the JAZZTECH Big Band is to promote and commission new arrangements of great jazz standards as well as original compositions by Chicago composers. The JAZZTECH Big Band does not claim to be a repertory band, however music performed by the great road bands from the likes of Duke Ellington, Buddy Rich, Stan Kenton, to Woody Herman will often be played in live concerts.
You can hear Rob Parton's JAZZTECH Big Band regularly at their monthly home FitzGerald's located in Berwyn.
Rob Parton plays custom trumpets built by Wayne Tanbe, Bob Malone and flugelhorn built by Fred Powell. Parton is also an Associate Professor of Jazz Studies for the Chicago College of Performing Arts of Roosevelt University.