Big Band Charts

           

Title: Jingle Bells

Style: Swing

Composer: Traditional Arranger: Russ Weaver Grade: 1
 

Instrumentation: Standard Big Band
Description: Here is a holiday chart for every middle school band library. After having taught 30 years in American public schools and beginning a new program it was time to arrange for the strengths of the group. This arrangement "Works" and sounds great for all of your outdoor Holiday gigs. In my experience, if it sounds good outdoors it'll sound great indoors. Arranged for players at the grade 1 level it has pre-chordal parts for piano. This chart is where playable (easy) meets good sounding. Enjoy.

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Title: God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen

Style: Dark Accessible Jazz

Composer: Traditional Arranger: Weaver Grade: 1.5
 

Instrumentation: Standard Big Band
Description: Here is the most playable Big Band arrangement of God Rest that I can come up with. Open sounds in the piano create a dark jazz feel and ranges are super accessible. Read this one down for your holiday encounters. The canonic section makes everyone go "Hum, now that's cool..." and you are teaching musical concepts. Fun to play, fun to listen to, great arrangement for the holidays. Check it out.

 
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Title: Amazing Grace

Style: Chorale, Salsa, Jazz Waltz

Composer: Traditional Arranger: Chris Sharp Grade: 2
 

Instrumentation: Standard Jazz Band
Description: This is the finest arrangement for this grade level available! This is an easy play version of the classic "Amazing Grace" Feel free to dress this on up with extra musicians on some latin percussion instruments. Written for 4 Saxes, 3 Trumpets, and 2 bones with Piano, Bass, Drums and optional guitar, the remaining parts for the standard big band are included and arranged well. It simply works w/o the Bari, 4th trumpet, 3rd and 4th Bones and guitar. TOP SELLER!

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Title: Joe Avery's Blues

Style: New Orleans Swing

Composer: Traditional Arranger: Russ Weaver Grade: 2
 

Instrumentation: Standard Big Band
Description: Here's a great arrangement of a tune that ought to get more play time as a jazz standard. Goal here was to give younger musicians access to this piece through an easy arrangement. As it turns out the folks on the recording session wanted copies! Came out great. All trumpet parts are down lower but the great Jim Derrick did take a couple of things up. While it's appropriate and exceedingly cool, your lead players can keep everything in the staff and it still sounds great. Musicians on this recording are Jim Derrick, John DePaola, Greg Little and Sam Zambito on Trumpets. Chris Sharp, Andrea Rowlison, Dean Dukes and Will Nestler on Trombone. Russ Weaver, Tom Dietz, Rex Wirtz, Scott White and George Weremchuk on Saxophones. Don Sanderson: Drums, Julian Bond: Piano, Pat Gallo: Bass, and Martin Sensiper: Guitar. Recording engineer was Kendal Thompson.

 
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Title: Kissimmee Blues

Style: Swing

Composer: Russ Weaver Arranger: Russ Weaver Grade: 2
 

Instrumentation: Standard Jazz Band
Description: Need a great grade 2 blues chart? This one is our best seller for good reason; students and audiences really dig it! A contest-quality chart with all the right elements to show off all aspects of your program.

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Title: Wound it Out

Style: Reggae!

Composer: Russ Weaver Arranger: Russ Weaver Grade: 2
 

Instrumentation: Standard Jazz Band + GM Keyboard or Steel Drums
Description: This is a jazz original in Reggae style! With the addition of a set of steel drums or a synth playing a steel drum patch, your jazz students will experience true Reggae music! Great Bridge! Trumpet high notes on recording are completely optional, not taking anything away from the piece. Written out Alto Solo with easy changes staying in one major key.

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Title: Hey Baby

Style: Original open latin shuffle groove.

Composer: Russ Weaver Arranger: Russ Weaver Grade: 2 Band - Grade 3 Piano part (groove rhythm)
 

Instrumentation: Standard Jazz Band
Description: Hey Baby is a piece for traditional jazz band that was written for my "muse"; Beth Rattie! I was sitting at the piano, eyes closed, just groovin', heard something, opened my eyes and she had walked into the room and was dancing to this piano groove! Perfect! The rest became a big band treatment that sounds challenging for trumpets but lays wonderfully easy (7th graders have very little difficulty with it). Hey Baby is unique because it goes to an unexpected Hi Hat grove on the bridge with the "A" section delivering the ride shuffle. (many tunes utilize Hi Hat on the "A" section and then break into the "Ride" groove on the bridge, this is the opposite.) Pianist will have to work out the groove rhythm on the first 4 bars. I recommend that this be done before the first rehearsal and with the recording below. My students have loved and requested this piece because they enjoy playing it. Contest level material. Top Seller!

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Title: Mille Regretz (jazz warm-up)

Style: Swing/Classical

Composer: Josquin Arranger: Russ Weaver Grade: 2.5
 

Instrumentation: Standard Jazz Band
Description: Mille Regretz is a faithful transcription of a Renaissance piece by Josquin. I have always felt that the harmonies in the Renaissance were "jazzy" sounding and with a swing groove it really works as a wonderful jazz band warm-up piece. The reason I arranged it was that I warm my concert band up with chorales and really wanted a chorale offering for jazz band. Feel free to remove the drums from the 2nd half and play it straight just like a concert band warm-up! This is one the Students love to perform. 2 minutes.

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Title: Ballad for Laryssa

Style: Straight eighth ballad, Slow jazz march.

Composer: Russ Weaver Arranger: Russ Weaver Grade: 3
 

Instrumentation: Standard Jazz Band+GM keyboard
Description: This is a beautiful ballad that winds its way through many slow styles and harmonic treatments. Features both alto players and piano. All Solos are written out. Written for my granddaughter and all of her incredible phases from age 2-5. Plays like a movie score and the melody develops slowly and goes through many permutations. Great teaching tool for colors, balance and blend. Trumpets need harmon mutes. Contest material worth the work.

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Title: Birdbrain

Style: BeBop Swing!

Composer: Chris Sharp Arranger: Chris Sharp Grade: 3
 

Instrumentation: Standard Jazz Band
Description: I asked composer Chris Sharp to come up with an original tune based on the changes to Ornithology because the head to Ornithology was a bit too difficult for most Middle School students. From this, Birdbrain was born! This big band original really swings! Feature your lead alto player on this one and let them "feel the bop!"

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Title: God Bless America

Style: Traditional

Composer: Traditional Arranger: Russ Weaver Grade: 3
 

Instrumentation: Jazz Band + Chorus or Soloist
Description: This is an arrangement that is for Veteran's Day productions that features your school chorus (or not) singing the first time through and a crowd participation section for the second time through. Works well as a closer for your American Veterans Day or Memorial Day productions. If there is no choir available a vocal soloist works as well as a simply instrumental offering. Bring plenty of hand held American Flags for this one. Use the standard vocal arrangement found in any HS choral textbook, verse chorus format and add repeats for additional verses.

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Title: Mommy Got a Day Gig

Style: Funk-Rock

Composer: Russ Weaver Arranger: Russ Weaver Grade: 3
 

Instrumentation: Standard Jazz Band
Description: Mommy is the new "Chameleon"-type jam tune dressed up in a funk-Rock style. Suitable for contest-type situations or any occasion calling for an intricate and well arranged funk-rock tune. Turn your band loose on this chart, solos are open and for any instrument. Add as much or as little latin percussion as you like and listen for the "quotes" buried inside this easy Grade 3. Powerful!

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Title: The Next Great Journey

Style: Classical, Bossa, Dixieland, Broadway, Ballad.

Composer: Russ Weaver Arranger: Russ Weaver Grade: 3
 

Instrumentation: Standard Jazz Band
Description: "Next" is a multi-section tune with 3 transitions. It is a serious piece of jazz that explores different colors and grooves. It takes 3 traditional sacred tunes and puts them to uplifting jazz grooves. This is the first "program" piece of jazz music that I have written and my students "want" to play this piece. There are many hidden quotes that have significance to the programatic nature of the piece. Tunes can be used individually as stand-alone arrangements or as a piece of jazz program music. Accessible and easily produced.

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Title: America, the Beautiful

Style: Chorale and Shuffle

Composer: Samuel A. Ward Arranger: Chris Sharp Grade: 3.5
 

Instrumentation: Standard Jazz Band
Description: Tap into those strong patriotic feelings with this inventive arrangement featuring a driving shuffle beat. Accessible ranges and no solo responsibilities will ensure this piece to be a winner! Great honors jazz band or festival closer. Very Grand!

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Title: ...And Yet So Far

Style: Ballad

Composer: Chris Sharp Arranger: Chris Sharp Grade: 4
 

Instrumentation: Standard Jazz Band
Description: Showcase your talented alto sax soloist with this original ballad featuring beautiful ensemble writing and a double-time swing section in the middle with solo changes. A written-out solo is also provided for those who aren't yet fully comfortable improvising.

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Title: A Mighty Fortress

Style: Metheny, Rock

Composer: Martin Luther Arranger: Chris Sharp Grade: 4
 

Instrumentation: Standard Jazz Band
Description: Martin Luther's famous hymn is propelled into the 21st century in this multi-metered treatment. Ranges are conservative and there are no improvised solo responsibilities, so players can devote their energies to the continually moving inner voices. A unique way to add variety to your concert line-up. Contest Material. Highly recommended!

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Title: Electric Transport

Style: Latin Rock and Arena Rock

Composer: Russ Weaver Arranger: Russ Weaver Grade: 4
 

Instrumentation: Standard Jazz Band + Vibes (or GM Keyboard)
Description: Have some fun with your jazz band students this year and check out this very easy to learn chart! Solos are all be minor pentatonic based and are open for all of your great soloists! This high energy chart is ready for state contest in any state. Check it out! Recording: actual MS jazz band and soloists.

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Title: Betsy

Style: Jazz Waltz

Composer: David MacKenzie Arranger: David MacKenzie Grade: 5
 

Instrumentation: Standard Jazz Band
Description: Betsy is the first chart that David has submitted for Cyberwindsmusic! This jazz waltz was written for his oldest daughter and is an amazing harmonic journey that instantly qualifies for Grade 4 contest material. It has very playable brass ranges but is graded a 5 because of the flute double in the sax section, the various mutes required in brass and the flugal solo (witten out). Written and recorded by the Orlando Jazz Orchestra, "Betsy" is accessible to both High school students as well as College level musicians. Program this amazing chart the next time a Jazz Waltz is called for.

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Title: Fig's Wedding

Style: Swing/Classical

Composer: W. A. Mozart Arranger: Perry Orfanella Grade: 5
 

Instrumentation: Standard Jazz Band
Description: A great jazz arrangement of Mozart's "Marriage of Figaro" (main theme). Burnin' arrangement with many audience pleasing twists. Good contest piece and worth the work!

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Title: Quest of the Red Knight

Style: Buddy Rich Swing

Composer: Chris Sharp Arranger: Chris Sharp Grade: 5
 

Instrumentation: Standard
Description: Quest is flat-out a blast to perform! Again Cyberwindsmusic brings a piece with literature tie-ins for superior aesthetics in combination with your language arts department. This one ties in with any tales from the court of King Arthur or works separately as simply a medieval piece. Chris has really outdone himself with this chart! Begins with a medieval fanfare that comes back thematically later in the piece. Then it's off to an amazing Buddy Rich style waltz which eventually becomes a waltz in 1. Ending with the classic Buddy Rich style drum solo ending, showcase your hottest drummer with the contest-ready crowd pleaser. This chart has been performed at the FMEA conference.

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Title: Salsaruba

Style: Latin Hybrid

Composer: Perry Orfanella Arranger: Perry Orfanella Grade: 5
 

Instrumentation: Standard Big Band
Description: Here's a Latin number for any performance that gets right down to business! Check out this burning original from one of today's most creative big band composers.

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Title: The Man With The Bus

Style: Swing!

Composer: David MacKenzie Arranger: David MacKenzie Grade: 5
 

Instrumentation: Standard Big Band 5,4,4, Rhy
Description: Here's one that Swings for the fences! David MacKenzie hits it out of the park with the contest-ready swinger that incorporates everything that a great grade 5 swinger requires. If your band thinks it can swing, this is the number for you! Infectious melody. Check it out.

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