Lighthouse Big Band
The Lighthouse Big Band was organized in the fall of 2003 through the efforts of local musician and business owner Jim Arthur, with help from Dick Wehner, Brian Lydeen, and other area big band enthusiasts. The 17-piece band attracts top-notch musicians from throughout Central Wisconsin. While its primary purpose is to keep big band jazz alive with twice-monthly, theme-based, free rehearsal/performances, the Lighthouse Big Band also performs at private and public events, and is vested in jazz education. The band serves as Artists in Residence and is a Resident Ensemble at the Thelma Sadoff Center for the Arts.
A WAMI nominee for Best Big Band, the band plays a variety of genres in the big band style. The Lighthouse Big Band performs music including traditional big bands/dance bands of the 30’s and 40’s, the music of Count Basie and Duke Ellington, Latin Jazz, contemporary big bands like Gordon Goodwin’s Big Phat Band, as well as big band versions of rock/fusion music. The band often features guest artists within their theme nights.
The Lighthouse Big Band has long been the house band for the Fond du Lac Jazz Festival, and has appeared in concert and dance venues throughout the state backing such jazz stalwarts as Tom “Bones” Malone, David “Fathead” Newman, Kevin Mahogany, Eugene Rousseau, Tony Scodwell, Scott Whitfield and Ginger Bergman, Janet Planet, and the acclaimed jazz trumpeter Valery Ponomarev.
“The Lighthouse Big Band is honored to be a part of the area arts community, presenting listening opportunities, promoting learning opportunities and preserving this great art form,” says Brad Curran of Curran Music Studios and leader of the Lighthouse Big Band.