What do you get when you put five saxophones, four trumpets, four trombones, one piano, one bass, one drummer, one guitar & two vocalists together? You get the Alex Rene’ Big Band, a group of 18 multi-talented musicians & singers.
The band’s sound and style is based upon the period of American music known as The Golden Age of the Big Bands, a period of time between the 1930’s, 40’s, 50’s & 60’s. Popular bands of the day were Glenn Miller, Benny Goodman, Tommy Dorsey, Harry James and many others.
This does not mean that the band’s performances are limited only to that period of music; the very talented vocalist Mari McNeil includes many popular tunes and songs of today, done in the style of the Big Bands.
Since its formation in 2004 by Alex Rene’ the band has presented many dances and fund raisers for the American Heart Association, Lancaster Opera House and The Wounded Warriors Veterans Association as well as many summer park concerts thru out Western New York.
Alex Rene’s love of Big Bands goes back to his high school days in Cleveland as a member of what was then called a stage band. Shortly after coming to Buffalo in 1968 to attend the University of Buffalo Alex formed his first Big Band and with his loving wife and family has been at it ever since.
Big Bands are enjoying a major resurgence in America. They can now be found in high schools and colleges. Many communities have formed Big Bands of their own. The interest and love of Big Bands is anything but 'dead' as they were once thought to be. Thanks to many young, and not so young, talented musicians Big Bands are alive and doing well. The Alex Rene’ Big Band is one of them.