Swing Aggregation is a little big band based in Vancouver BC that specializes in playing big band swing music for swing dancers and folks who enjoy listening to the big band sound.
It's a "little" big band because it has only five horns (two trumpets, trombone, two saxes) instead of the usual 13 or so that are in a full big band. Through the use of high quality arrangements and some of Vancouver's top musicians, Swing Aggregation often manages to sound at least twice as "big" as it is. With a driving 4-piece rhythm section (bass, piano, guitar & drums) the band has a solid beat that can excite lindyhoppers and listeners alike.
Dave Guiney. Leader. Bass.
Originally from the Boston area, where he studied at Berklee College Of Music, Dave spent the early 80’s in New York City where he had the opportunity to play with Warne Marsh, Gary Dial, Bill Evans (sax), Joe Lovano, Frank Tiberi, Conrad Herwig and many other fine jazz musicians. Back in New England in the mid-80’s Dave played in a house trio that accompanied such jazz stars as Al Cohn, Buddy Tate, Warren Vache, Herb Pomeroy, Al Grey, Maxine Sullivan, Tal Farlow, Ken Peplowski and others. While on cruise ships in the 80s Dave played for such Big Band era stars as Cab Calloway, Helen O’Connell, Connie Haines, Patty Andrews (of the Andrews Sisters), Helen Forrest and Margaret Whiting. Since moving to the Vancouver area in 1994 Dave has worked with many of the finest jazz musicians in the city and beyond, including Ernestine Anderson, Ron Johnston, Oliver Gannon, John Nolan, Ross Taggart, Jack Stafford, Al Wold, Bob Murphy, Dave Robbins, Jennifer Scott, Brad Turner, Phil Dwyer, Chris Sigerson, and Craig Scott. Dave plays in a swinging straight ahead style, subscribing to the belief that a bass player’s number one priority is to provide a solid, driving groove.
Derry Byrne. Trumpet.
Born and bred and began his trumpet studies in Kitsilano. He later studied in Toronto, New York and Los Angeles. He is a much sought after session and live performer who is comfortable in virtually all styles of music, having played everything from principal with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra to Jazz chairs in bands lead by some of the great jazz artists of our time including Ian McDougall, Ernestine Anderson and Louis Bellson. He has also recorded or played with Yes, Aerosmith, The Barenaked Ladies, Colin James, Boz Scaggs, Barbra Streisand, Natalie Cole, Michael Buble, The Temptations, Gladys Knight, Shirley Bassey, Martha Reeves, Johnny Mathis, Gino Vanelli, The Tragically Hip and Diana Krall. Additionally, he has often been called to play for such Broadway musicals as Miss Saigon, Kiss Of The Spider Woman, 42nd Street, The Full Monty and West Side Story.
Rod Murray. Trombone.
Born in Summerland, BC, studied in Edmonton and Antigonish, Nova Scotia where he obtained his B. Mus. in Jazz Performance in 1992. He came to Vancouver in 1996 and has since played with all manner of local jazz, salsa and funk bands, including the Jill Townsend Big Band, Ian McDougall 12tet, Night Crawler Big Band, Fred Stride Jazz Orchestra, Hard Rubber Orchestra/Orquesta Goma Dura, Vancouver Ensemble of Jazz Improvisation, NOW Orchestra, Rumba Calzada and the Ugetsu Project. He has played with such prominent jazz musicians as Eddie Daniels, Kenny Wheeler, Slide Hampton and Dave Douglas. In the latin music field he has shared the stage with such stars as Arturo Sandoval, Jimmy Bosch and Changuito. The list of popular artists he has played and/or recorded for includes Barbra Streisand, Frank Sinatra Jr., Frank Valli, the Temptations, Gladys Knight, Gino Vanelli, Yes, Sam Roberts, Dan Mangan, Powder Blues, Matthew Good, Hey Ocean and the Colin James Little Big Band. When traveling Broadway musicals come to Vancouver you will usually find Rod in the orchestra pit, as has been the case with Chicago, Chorus Line, The Lion King, Wicked and Mary Poppins.
Vince Mai. Trumpet.
As a trumpeter, Vince has appeared on hundreds of recordings for TV, feature films, commercials, and albums.
Artists he's shared the stage or recording studio with include Sarah McLaughlin, Divine Brown, Michael Buble, Powder Blues, Tom Jones, David Clayton Thomas, David Foster, Phil Dwyer, Don Thompson, The Temptations, Natalie Cole, Eddie Daniels, Buddy Miles, Robben Ford, Long John Baldry, Danilo Perez, Sheldon Reynolds (of Earth Wind & Fire), Soulstream and many others. Vince's studio work has included TV shows like DaVinci's Inquest, Chris Isaak Show, Lonesome Dove, McGyver and Ed, Edd, & Eddy.
Also an award winning composer, Vince has composed music for feature films, documentaries, TV series, video games and commercials for TV, radio and internet. Clients include CBC (Theme for The Early Edition), NFB, FOX, PBS, Knowledge (themes and IDs for the network rebranding), McDonald's, Ford, Electronic Arts, Radical Entertainment, Mattel, Telus, Mazda and many more.
As a solo artist, Vince has released five CDs. With the exception of "FOR ALL WE KNOW", the other CDs feature mostly original compositions.
RON THOMPSON. GUITAR.
Ron Thompson began his musical journey in 1966 at age 11 when he started guitar lessons at Vancouver’s Mediterranean Guitar Shop. Further education included Douglas College (New Westminster), the Banff School of Fine Arts and the Guitar Institute of Technology and Dick Grove Music Workshops in Los Angeles where he had the opportunity to study with such jazz legends as Joe Pass, Howard Roberts, Herb Ellis, Pat Martino and Tommy Tedesco.
He traveled much of the world as a Princess Cruises staff musician and as a member of the cult favourite ethno-fusion band the Romaniacs.
Ron was founding member of Hugh Fraser's Vancouver Ensemble of Jazz Improvisation (VEJI), and has played with such jazz and pop notables as Rosemary Clooney, Michael Buble, Frank Foster, Joe Henderson, Fraser MacPherson, Della Reese and Don Thompson.
In recent years his activities have expanded to include: Gypsy-Jazz with his group Gypsalero, County and Western with the Casablanca Cowboys, Klezmer with Olam, Afro World-Beat with The World Jive Big Band and Tango with pianist Linda Lee Thomas.
Ron can be seen around Vancouver in the bands of Dal Richards and Scott Robertson.
He played on CDs by Michael Buble, Raffi, Ray Condo and his Ricochets, Scott Robertson, Ellen Kennedy, and the Vancouver Mens' Chorus.
Dave Say. Alto & Soprano Sax.
A well-respected and versatile saxophonist with rich soulful tones and powerful improvisation. His sound is inspired by the likes of John Coltrane, Wayne Shorter, Sonny Rollins, Gene Ammons, Joe Henderson, Michael Brecker and Stan Getz. He has been a professional musician for over 30 years covering all styles of Jazz, R&B, and Funk. He has collaborated with George Mcfetridge (Strange Weather), Claude Ranger (Dave Say Claude Ranger Duo), Al Weirtz (Say/Wiertz Band), Kevin Elaschuk (ESQ), Tony Wilson (Say/Wilson Group), and Above Ground Sextet, to name a few.
Dave has worked with several well known artists such as Michael Buble, Dee Daniels, Richard Muhal Abrams, Brad Turner Quintet, Chuck Isreals, Jill Townsend Bigband, Hugh Fraser's VEJI, Now Orchestra, Hard Rubber Orchestra,The Claude Ranger Jade Orchestra, Dal Richards Orchestra, Mike Allen Nonet, Tribute to Monk, Mark Helias Ensemble, Tony Wilson Sextet, Harris Van Berkel, George Lewis, Oliver Lake, Shuggie Otis, Linton Garner, The Supremes, The Contours, Powder Blues, Bobby Taylor, Michael Kaeshammer, Soulstream and many more.
BILL RUNGE. TeNOR & BARITONE SAX. ARRANGER
Bill has been a successful performer, composer, arranger, and orchestrator for over 40 years. A multi-instrumentalist, he has performed and recorded on saxophones, flutes, clarinets, electric and string bass, piano and other keyboards, guitar, pennywhistle, and accordion.
Bill’s saxophone style amalgamates the influences of John Coltrane, Wayne Shorter, Michael Brecker, and Steve Grossman with his own compositional approach. He is a modern player but firmly rooted in the jazz tradition.
Composers influencing his writing style include Astor Piazolla, Chick Corea, Frederick Delius, Arvo Part, Egberto Gismonti, Bela Bartok, and Josef Zawinul.
In 1990 his quintet, “The Creatures of Habit,” won the Grand Prix at the CBC-Alcan Jazz Competition in Montreal. As a leader, Bill has produced four recordings: “Creatures of Habit-Live in Montreal” (1990, Justin Time Records), “B3” (1994, Roadhouse Records), “Acid Test” (2002, Maximum Jazz) and “A Tribute To The South American Masters” (2006, Maximum Jazz).
He has worked on several Juno Award winning projects including Jim Byrnes’ CD, “That River”.
Bill is an in demand studio musician and has recorded with such acts as K-OS, INXS, Powder Blues, Tracey Ullman, the Hard Rubber Orchestra, Swollen Members, Tower of Power horns, Long John Baldry, Shari Ulrich, the Vancouver Ensemble of Jazz Improvisation (VEJI), Amos Garrett, The Paperboys, Lowell Fulson, Jackyll, and many more.
Bill has performed live shows at jazz, folk and blues festivals in Canada, Europe, the U.K., and the U.S. with such artists as: The Funk Bros., Colin James, Natalie Cole, Michael Buble, Taj Mahal, John Lee Hooker, Bo Diddley, Sheena Easton, Roger Daltry, John Hammond Jr., Ben E. King, Bob Hope, Robert Cray, Marilyn Crispell, Don Thompson, Kenny Wheeler, Jimmy Witherspoon, Dave Holland, Slide Hampton, Jeff Healey, Michael Burgess, Strippers Union and many more.
As a composer he has done several film scores including for the cult favorite, “Babette’s Feet.” He has done scores for TV shows such as SuperKids (CBC) and Code Green (CBC), and done arrangements or orchestrations for such shows as The Chris Isaak Show (Showtime), and Beggars and Choosers (Showtime).
Bill has also performed on many film and TV scores such as Ed, Edd, and Eddy (cartoon), Cadillac Girls (feature film), Highlander (TV), and Life On A Mattress (feature film for Disney).
His theatre credits include Godspell, a rock musical; Tapestry, a revue of the music of Carole King; and Red Rock Diner.
“Runge, one of Vancouver’s most tasteful players, balances delicateness and muscularity and builds his solos gracefully, always with the composition in mind.”
-Marke Andrews, Vancouver Sun
TOM ARNTZEN. PIANO & VOCALS.
“A very good singer.”
As an established artist in Vancouver, Tom wears many hats; vocalist, keyboardist, composer, arranger, producer, musical director, teacher, and actor. He can sing and play any style of music, and often does.
He was music leader for the 2013 Grey Cup gala and played it again in 2014. He has accompanied Jack Jones at River Rock Show Theatre and arranged and sung on numerous vocal sessions with Grammy winner Dave Pierce. He was featured vocalist and actor in the Showtime movie, “Reefer Madness” and was vocal coach to Will Ferrell in the movie “Elf”.
Tom musically directed “All Grown Up” at the Richmond Gateway Theatre, and the Jessie Award-nominated “Red Rock Diner” at the Arts Club Theater.
As a session musician, he has written, produced and sung TV and radio jingles for the Canadian, U.S., Japanese and New Zealand markets.
As a theatre performer, Tom starred in the Vancouver Playhouse production of “Gunmetal Blues.”
He is a featured sideman in many Lower Mainland musical acts, and is leader or co-leader of many bands: Arntzen Roaring Rhythm Review (ARRR), SwingSoul Band, The HitZone, Jake and Elwood’s Blues Brothers Revue, Dueling Pianos, The Gospel Giants, Three Generations of Swing and The Vibe Band.
He currently teaches K-7 Music at St. Augustine School in Vancouver.
BUFF ALLEN. DRUMS.
A third generation Vancouverite, has had forty-six years of professional playing experience, in jazz, pop, theatre, recording studios, concert tours, television and movies. He is the recipient of a 1989 Juno award for best jazz album category, as well as the 1987 Laureate in the CBC-Alcan competition at the Montreal Jazz Festival, and was a Juno nominee for 2003. He’s had the honour of being able to play with a large number of great musicians, both local and international, including Diana Krall, Michael Buble, Daniel Lanois, Lenny Breau, Ed Bickert, Johnny Hartman, Moe Koffman, Rob McConnell, Sam Noto, Eugene Amaro, Hagood Hardy, Kathryn Moses, Peter Appleyard, Phil Nimmons, Hank Jones, Teddy Wilson, Johnny Guarnieri, Red Norvo, Joanne Brackeen and Kenny Wheeler.