Pete Ellman Big Band to appear weekly with opening student acts

Fox Valley Music Foundation announces a partnership with The Pete Ellman Big Band to provide area students with the opportunity to perform before a live audience at The Venue, a 200-seat music performance space at 21 S. Broadway Ave. in downtown Aurora.

The Big Band Residency Series will debut at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 19. Each week, The Pete Ellman Big Band will be joined by an area college, high school or middle school group that will open the show. After the students perform, they are able to listen to and learn from the band of professionals. The inaugural performance will feature students from the College of DuPage. For a complete list of featured schools and the performance schedule, visit www.themusicvenue.org.

“We feel very fortunate to have formed this partnership with Pete Ellman,” Melissa Mercado, executive director of the Fox Valley Music Foundation, stated in a news release. “The Pete Ellman Big Band has been providing education for young musicians by supplying a place for students to perform and listen to big band jazz for 12 years. We are pleased to be able to provide our stage to enable them to do this. Music education is part of both of our missions, and is a win for everyone involved. It’s a terrific opportunity for the Aurora community, and we are delighted to welcome the students and their families to experience Aurora’s downtown and big band jazz.”

About The Pete Ellman Big Band

Founded in 2009, The Pete Ellman Big Band has established itself as one of the top big bands in the Chicago area, the release stated. The band has done more than entertain lovers of great big band music. From its beginning, the band has given college, high school and middle school big bands a place to perform and listen to the swinging sounds of big band jazz. The band also has brought in world-renowned guest artists such as Jeff Coffin, Wayne Bergeron, Peter Erskine, Andy Martin, Wycliff Gordon, Eric Miyashiro, Tommy Igoe, Grace Kelly and Denis DiBlasio, to name a few.

“For Pete’s Ache” is the first album to be released by The Pete Ellman Big Band. It spent many weeks in the charts as one of the top five big band jazz albums, with one song topping at number one for eight weeks. The album features many original songs and arrangements by band members Dan Moore, Larry Harris and Ted Hogarth.

The band currently is working on a Christmas album. Fifty percent of its proceeds will go toward helping students, who otherwise would not be able to afford a band or orchestra instrument, get an instrument and join their school program.

“If you would like to help support this project, come to the Christmas show on Thursday, Dec. 16, and purchase an album,” concert organizers stated.

The Venue, which is owned and operated by the nonprofit Fox Valley Music Foundation, can be found at www.themusicvenue.org. To contact the foundation, visit www.foxvalleymusicfoundation.com.