The immensely popular M&J Big Band will perform on the outdoor "stage" at the Walk In Art Center in a FREE concert on August 15th. Gates open at 5 pm and concert starts at 6 pm.
This is a "bring your own lawn chair" concert with food trucks, beer, wine, and loads of fantastic swing and jazz music.
About the Band:
What started as a high school history project in 2010 has evolved into a full 17-piece big band. Originally started by Mike Denchy and Joe Senawaitis as "M&J's Big Band" for a “History Night” project on the history of big band jazz at Pottsville Area High School, the M&J Big Band has been under the leadership of Bandleader John Shoener since 2011, with assistance from Associate Bandleader Jacob Shoener since 2013, and Assistant Bandleader Josh Kovich since 2016. Our Band Mentor from the beginning has been local jazz legend Larry Koch of Pottsville.
The band features members from Schuylkill, Northumberland, Montgomery, Lancaster, and Adams Counties.
Some of their bigger events include: The York Big Swing Thing, Les Brown Jazz Festival, Opening act for Dave Stahl Band in Lebanon, Valley View Park, Kennedy Park of Lansford, Bubeck Park in Schuylkill Haven, Shenandoah Valley High School, Heisler's Dairy Bar in the Lewistown Valley near Tamaqua, Pottsville Stage Band concert, The Majestic Theater in Pottsville, and much more!
The band's mission is to keep the big band music alive into the next generation. The band also aims to play the music of Schuylkill County greats Tommy Dorsey (Shenandoah), Jimmy Dorsey (Shenandoah), and Les Brown (Reinerton). The band has performed at the Les Brown Jazz Festival at Williams Valley High School in 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017. The Band presented a Dorsey Tribute in Shenandoah in 2018.
In 2019 the band performed over 15 concerts throughout Schuylkill County and the surrounding areas. Despite the COVID19 pandemic, the band continued to produce a virtual concert series beginning in December 2020, and concluding in December 2021. 2020 also marked the 10 year anniversary of the band's founding.