UMLAUT BIG BAND is an orchestra of fourteen musicians that, under the direction of Pierre-Antoine Badaroux, explores both the historical swing repertoire of big bands, based on recorded archives and manuscripts (1920-1940), and the sound possibilities offered by the big band format in a more contemporary form, by commissioning composers who are active in the fields of creation.
FROM HISTORICAL REPERTOIRE TO CONTEMPORARY CREATION
Spotlight on the creativity of arrangers and sound exploration of the form of the big band through space and time.
Since its creation, the band has been mainly focusing on the jazz from the 20’s to the 40’s, through the music of Don Redman, Fletcher Henderson, Duke Ellington, Benny Carter and others, as well as European musicians. The band has developed a repertory of over 200 tracks and released 4 records in 6 years.
In the manner of the orchestras of early music, the historical research carried out from rare scores and recordings, is based on the intimate conviction that the arrangers, oft-overlooked in the history of jazz, are creators who never stop inventing new forms.
In its performances, the band favors the acoustic as well as a warm and festive atmosphere, whether they are playing in a concert hall or on a village party: music is for all.
Also very active on the European stage of improvised musics and jazz, the musicians wanted to widen the band’s repertory with a series of commissions to contemporary composers who maintain an intimate relation with jazz.
Too rarely tackled by composers in our days, the form of the big band is ideal for rich sound explorations, and starting a dialogue between a long tradition linked to jazz and the forms of contemporary inventions: music beyong genre.
And so since 2016, the Umlaut Big Band has created new pieces, first written by members of the orchestra (Pierre-Antoine Badaroux, Antonin Gerbal, Pierre Borel), then by invited composers (Alexander Von Schlippenbach, Jean-Luc Guionnet, Axel Dörner, Bertrand Denzler and Joel Grip).