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Swing Unlimited

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Swing Unlimited is a community based Big Band, and is unique in British Jazz in that it is totally self-funding, receiving no grant of any kind, making it a true community band that is being run by the community. The band is led very much in the style of Loose Tubes, rehearsing in the round where any member of the band can direct at any one time. The Musical Director function is shared between members of the band to allow their individual skills to improve the standard. Currently, Julian Whitehead, James Stead and Patrick Peiro predominately share the duty. Regularly performing at Highcliffe Castle as well as at Swing Unlimited Jazz Club @ Parley Sports & Social Club (275 Christchurch Rd, West Parley, Ferndown, BH22 8SQ).


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Formation of the Band

Swing Unlimited Big Band was formed in late 2001 by various musicians including David Wilkinson. Both wanted to play upbeat and interesting big band music- with maybe a hint of nostalgia but felt the opportunities to do so in Dorset were somewhat limited.

Current Line-up

Saxophones: Karen Pitt, Nick Studdert-Kennedy, Nick Smith, Penny Bishop, Nicola Whitmarsh, Lorna Edwards

Trumpets: Andrew Priestley, Chris Dawe, Pat Peiro, Jonathan Payne, Stephen Bradshaw, Paul Cakebread.

Trombones: Julian Whitehead, Richard Curren, Adrian Clift, Colin Williams.

Rhythm Section: James Stead (Keys), Andy Pitt (Bass), Chris Panaretou (Guitar), Tim Sharp and Alan Elliot (drums and percussion)

Sound Engineer: Pete Alcock


  • Swing Unlimited Big Band (album), (SUBB Records, December 2009)
  • SUBB carried out a recording project in conjunction with music students of Lytchett Minster School.

  • "A Message From The Home Front" (SUBB Records, November 2010)
  • Live recording from SUBB's annual Remembrance Sunday performance at the Regent Centre, Christchurch

  • "SUBB Actually" (SUBB Records, April, 2013)
  • "SUBB Christmas" (SUBB Records, April, 2013)
  • Recordings made at Ferndown Upper School, (currently in post-production at A Room With A View Studios, (NB Scheduled for release before December 2013!)

    Education and Outreach

    One of the aims of SUBB as a community band is to not only provide outreach to the community in terms of charity events for organizations like the Soroptimist International and local charities such as the Rotary Club, but to get into local schools, providing workshops and joint events that help young people to see that keeping music live is very important. One of the aims of SUBB is to get out into local schools about three times a year.

    The Swing Unlimited Community Big Band was formed soon after the original SUBB, providing opportunities for amateur musicians of all ages (youngest currently is 12 years old, oldest is 80) to enjoy rehearsing, performing and enjoying participating in great big band jazz music. "SU2" rehearses regularly on Monday evenings at the St. Leonard's Hotel in Ringwood (185 Ringwood Road St. Leonards, Ringwood, Dorset BH24 2NP), and is open to all players of big band instruments, nominally at a grade 5 standard or above.

    In 2010, the organisation started the "Swing Unlimited Jazz Club" based at Centre Stage in Westbourne, Bournemouth (Queen's Road, BH2 6BE). Running every Wednesday evening (doors open 7.30pm), SUJC was another key development for the group - its own venue to provide opportunities not only for its own bands & players to perform, but also to support live jazz in the community by booking other jazz artists from the local area, the South region as well as nationally and internationally recognised stars of the jazz world such as Liane Carroll, Tina May, Mark Nightingale, Edana Minghella, Nigel Price, Gary Smulyan, Alan Barnes, Derek Nash and Alec & Emily Dankworth. Closure of the venue led to relocation first to the Riviera Hotel, and subsequently to Parley Sports & Social Club (275 Christchurch Rd, West Parley, Ferndown, BH22 8SQ).


    Swing Unlimited Wikipedia

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