Jack Allen's Big Band




November, 2005 - City Newspaper
June, 2006 - Rochester International Jazz Festival website
May, 2007 - Tim Hortons & City Newspaper


Printed from the US Airways Magazine

POSTED July 2007:
Profile of Rochester, New York - The Past on Display

Printed from the RNews website

Published on July 6, 2007

Big Band Music Hits The Stage

By Lynn Wesley

Big Band Music takes center stage this weekend in the Town of Irondequoit.

The 18 piece Jack Allen Big Band showcases some of the best tunes of the 20th century, including songs from Tommy Dorsey, Duke Ellington and Glenn Miller.

"I have 18 musicians, 5 trumpets including myself, 4 trombones, 5 reeds, 3 rhythm, and a girl vocalist," says director Jack Allen. He says the band plays tunes like "'Bud Beautiful,' 'My Buddy,' 'Margie,' and mostly the old standards, and updated concert arrangements...jazz style."

Jack started playing the trumpet at age five.

The band played at the Rochester International Jazz Festival last year.

You can catch the Jack Allen Big Band this Sunday afternoon at 2:30 p.m. at the Irondequoit gazebo on Titus Avenue.

 Printed from the Steppin' Out Magazine

POSTED ON August 2, 2007:

Swing to the sounds of the big band

By Kathie J. Meredith - Messenger Post Staff

Honeoye - Jack Allen loves the sound of the big bands, the music from the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s.

"It makes sense," says Allen. "It's really music that people can enjoy and lsiten to and it has a very nice melody."

Hear for yourself when the Jack Allen Big Band fills the Main Street gazebo on Friday, August 3. The concer is part of the summer series hosted by Honeoye Public Library.

Allen, a Brighton resident, has been the leader of the band for about 15 years. Prior to that time, the band was known as the Chick Edmond Band. When Edmond passed away in 1993, the band continued with his name for about eight years and finally became the Jack Allen Big Band.

The musicians total 18 and include either retired or still working music teachers along with a retured doctor who plays saxophone and a local attorney who plays tombone. Also on the board is Carol Testa, the vocalist who, by day, is a Rochester city teacher.

Music performed by the band focuses on sounds heard from the 1930s and through the 1950s - but not beyond.

"We don't get involved with the rock era," emphasizes leader and trumpet player Allen, who studied music at Eastman School of Music and the Julliard School. "We're not a rock band. We're a dance band. We're a swing band."

And he is pleased as punch that the band, even though the temperature was a chilly 45 degrees, performed at one of the outdoor programs making up the 2006 Rochester International Jazz Festival.

But don't think that audiences are made up only of the senior set. "We hae people come to the conerts that are from 25 to 90," the leader points out.

Among the songs those folks hear are "Fly Me to the Moon," "When I Fall in Love," and "Almost Like Being in Love," all tunes accented by the Testa vocals, along with "Miller Lite" (an arrangement of three songs made popular by Glenn Miller) and "Good-Bye," a Benny Goodman tune that was used to sign off the Goodman radio program many, many years ago.

"Every time I play a concert, people that have heard the band ask, 'Jack, are you going to play 'Good-Bye'? and I say, yes, it's part of our schedule," relates Allen.

The Rochester native, whose father played the trumpet and handed down a talent for the instrument to his son, has been in love with music since he began playing it at the age of 8. Allen is now 81.

"I just love to play," contends the veteran of many bands, including the Monroe County Parks Band and, after he was drafted, the 25th Army Band stationed at Camp Kilmer, N.J. "That's what keeps me young. I hope I'll be around 20 more years."


Event - A concert by the 18-member Jack Allen Big Band.

Date, Time - Friday August 3, at 7 p.m.

Site - Gazebo on Main Street (Route 20A), hamlet of Honeoye, town of Richmond. If rain falls, the concert will be moved to the auditorium of Honeoye Central School, with an entrance off Allens Hill Road.

Entry - Free

For Detaisl - Call (585) 229-5020. For more about the Jack Allen Big Band, visit www.thejackallenbigband.com

Also - this program is part of the summer concert series hosted by the Honeoye Public Library. Serving on the committee in charge of the summer series are Wendy Krause, Don Pease, carol Dunn, Jim Ruppert, Chuck Plummer and John Street.

More Music - other concerts in the series are:

  • August 10, Honeoye Community Band, a volunteer group of some 30 regional musicians
  • August 17, the Student Loan, a band from Bowling Green, Ohio, which mixes bluegrass, folk, rock, jazz and blues
  • August 24, the Dady Brothers with Irish-oriented sounds
  • August 31, It's My Party, a teen vocal trio backed by an eight-piece ensemble performing music from the 1960s