Augusta Big Band Aggregate (ABBA)

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The Augusta Big Band Aggregate ("ABBA") is an 18-piece jazz band comprised of professional musicians, music teachers, and other jazz cats and kittens from around the Central Savannah River Area. The group meets regularly to pursue their love of big band music, and plays a wide variety of compositions and arrangements from early swing to modern jazz, funk, and rock.

Founded and led by Dr. Rob Foster and his associate director, Steve Pruitt, this big band can charm you with their selections from the Great American Song Book, then will get your feet tapping with classic swing, then will make your hair stand on end as they rock out. With their full complement of saxophones, trumpets, trombones, and rhythm section, ABBA provides their audiences with tight ensemble work and exciting solos that thrill all audiences.

Much of the band’s repertoire has been played by classic bands, such as those directed by Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Stan Kenton, Buddy Rich, Maynard Ferguson, Woody Herman, Tower of Power, Thad Jones, Gordon Goodwin, and Bob Mintzer. Some of the pieces include April in Paris, Back Bone, Chameleon, Mambo Madness, Moanin,’ Norwegian Wood, The Raven Speaks, Take the ‘A’ Train, Things Ain’t What They Used to Be, What is Hip, Willow Weep for Me, and so on . . . .

Augusta Big Band Aggregate (ABBA)

Jazz music is America’s past and its potential, summed up and sanctified and accessible to anybody who learns to listen to, feel, and understand it. The music can connect us to our earlier selves and to our better selves-to-come. It can remind us of where we fit on the time line of human achievement, an ultimate value of art.

~ Wynton Marsalis

Portrait of Stan Kenton, June Christy, Laurindo Almeida, Eddie Safranski, Bob Gioga, Shelly Manne, Chico Alvarez, Ray Wetzel, and Harry Betts, Richmond, Va.(?), 1947 or 1948, (LOC)

Photo by William P. Gottlieb

Portrait of Dizzy Gillespie, John Lewis, Cecil Payne, Miles Davis, and Ray Brown, Downbeat, New York, N.Y., between 1946 and 1948, (LOC)

Photo by William P. Gottlieb