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Mike Vax

The Mike Vax Jazz Orchestra & The Mike Vax Big Band Is there anyone crazy enough to lead one big band, let alone two? The answer is yes, he’s Mike Vax! Mike is the Director of The Mike Vax Jazz Orchestra (MVJO), and The Mike Vax Big Band (MVBB). The Mike Vax Jazz Orchestra The current MVJO (formerly the New Oakland Jazz Orchestra) is made up of musicians from many of the most famous big bands, such as: Stan Kenton, Woody Herman, Buddy Rich, Duke Ellington, Clark Terry, Tommy and Jimmy Dorsey, Glenn Miller, Cab Calloway, Ray McKinley, and Tex Beneke. These musicians are some of the finest to reside in the San Francisco Bay Area. The Mike Vax Big Band The Mike Vax Big Band features alumni from the 1952 - 1978 Stan Kenton Orchestra

ARTICLE: CATCHING UP WITH

Mike Vax: Getting Vaxinated

Read "Mike Vax: Getting Vaxinated" reviewed by Nicholas F. Mondello

Mike Vax has one of the shortest surnames in jazz music—he's “tied" with Tommy Vig and Jack Six for that honor. However, those familiar with his activities as a well-respected lead trumpeter and soloist with Stan Kenton, a stalwart member of the famous Dukes of Dixieland, the leader and man behind the annual tour of the ...

ARTICLE: PROFILE

US Military Service Bands: Histories & Heroes

Read "US Military Service Bands: Histories & Heroes" reviewed by Chris M. Slawecki

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 US Air Force Airmen of Note The premier jazz ensemble of the US Air Force, the Airmen of Note is one of six musical ensembles that comprise The US Air Force Band. Created in 1950 to continue the tradition of Major Glenn Miller's Army Air Forces ...

Flyin' Through Florida

Label: Summit Records
Released: 2018
Track listing: Artistry Jumps; Someday; After You’ve Gone . . . Finally; In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning; Psyche; O Mio Babbino; How High the Moon / Ornithology; Young at Heart; The Trashman Cometh; Through the Eyes of Love; Shazam; El Manisero, la Ultima Vez.

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Stan Kenton Legacy Orchestra: Flyin' Through Florida

Read "Flyin' Through Florida" reviewed by Jack Bowers

The number of jazz-centered big bands “on the road" these days can be counted on the fingers of one hand with a digit or two to spare. The Glenn Miller and Count Basie orchestras remain randomly active, the Duke Ellington and Woody Herman progeny somewhat less so. As for the rest . . . R.I.P. Stan ...

NEWS: EVENT

The Stan Kenton Legacy Orchestra In Great Barrington Massachusetts on April 15

The Stan Kenton Legacy Orchestra In Great Barrington Massachusetts on April 15

The Stan Kenton Legacy Orchestra (“SKLO”) will make its first and only Berkshires appearance this year on Sunday, April 15, at Monument Mountain Regional High School in Great Barrington, Massachusetts. The 7pm concert will be a big band double-header, with the Monument Mountain Jazz Band opening for the Kenton Legacy band. Kenton was one of the ...

ARTICLE: REASSESSING

Shorty Rogers: Short Stops

Read "Shorty Rogers: Short Stops" reviewed by Richard J Salvucci

In the 1980s, trumpeter and Kenton alum Mike Vax put together a Supersax-type group called TRPTS. It released an album of harmonized trumpet classics, one of which was “Short Stop." There are lots of great tunes including “Night in Tunisia," “Trumpet Blues and Cantabile," and “Heckler's Hop." Oh yeah, one I never heard, Shorty Rogers' Short ...

Storming Through the South

Label: Summit Records
Released: 2016
Track listing: Beat 70; Roy’s Blues Revisited; Summer Violets; I’m Glad There Is You; Lefty Leaps In; Virna; Come Out Swingin’!; Shell Game; It Might as Well Be Spring; You Turned the Tables on Me; Passages; Slow Boat to China; I’m Getting Sentimental Over You; Intro to Malaguena; Malaguena; Band Intro.

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

The Stan Kenton Legacy Orchestra: Storming Through the South

Read "Storming Through the South" reviewed by Jack Bowers

First, three hearty cheers and a laurel wreath for trumpeter Mike Vax who has kept the splendid Stan Kenton Legacy Orchestra together (with some inescapable changes in personnel, not to mention name) for twenty-five years, supervised no less than eighteen annual road tours and produced half a dozen in-concert albums, the most recent of which, Storming ...

Stan Kenton Alumni Band: Road Scholars

Label: Summit Records
Released: 2014
Track listing: Neverbird; I Have Dreamed; Stompin’ at the Savoy; Chico & the Man; Sneaky; Yesterdays; A Beautiful Friendship; Stockholm Sweetnin’; Cinnamon and Clove; Nessun Dorma; Lullaby of Broadway; Reed Rapture; Alex Revisited; America the Beautiful.


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