Bader’s Big Band Concert at the Bradford on Avon Live Music Centre on January 13th was a “resounding” success and a joyful boost for those who needed it, or those who thought they didn’t, to move forward into 2024!
Bader’s Big Band, the brainchild of Charley Bickers, has been one of the DBF’s most ambitious and successful initiatives. The first Big Band to be formed almost entirely of musicians with disabilities has developed from a tentative first rehearsal to become a widely acclaimed Big Band in its own right. The musicians, numbering about 26 including 4 helpers and, of course, Charlie the dog, are now a wonderfully cohesive group, have played at numerous venues and are in demand to perform at military and other events. They recently entertained the crowds at the Summer Air Show at Duxford.
We are incredibly proud of all they’ve achieved and to be associated with such a lovely and talented group of musicians. It has been so inspiring to watch their development into the confident and accomplished band they are today.
We are indebted to RWK Goodman for their support and sponsorship of this event.
There is a video of the start of this performance at the bottom of this post. Neck braces may be required, earplugs certainly won’t!
If anyone else who was there would like to share videos or photographs, we’d be delighted to receive and post them!
David Bickers MBE, CEO of the Douglas Bader Foundation was there on the night and writes:
BADER’S BIG BAND CONCERT AT THE WILTSHIRE MUSIC CENTRE SATURDAY 13TH JANUARY 2024
Appearing at such a prestigious venue definitely brought out the best performance I have seen from our initiative, Bader’s Big Band
An ambitious project initiated by the Douglas Bader Foundation, ‘Bader’s Big Band ‘ is the first ever Big Band consisting almost entirely of musicians from the UK with a physical disability or diagnosed mental health condition.
Led on stage by Charlie, the assisting care dog of our Bass Player Geoff and a permanent fixture in the Band, David Bickers M.B.E, our CEO and Co-Founder, introduced and welcomed our audience, guests and sponsors RWK GOODMAN. The band went straight into Route 66 with vocalist Jo and the whole band hitting the groove and tempo immediately.
With a play list of 20 selected pieces over 2 halves introduced by our Band Leader Paul, vocals from Sheila including on Almost Like Being in Love / Hey Mambo / Glory of Love and Jo back with For Once in my Life / Embraceable You, the instrumentalists slipping into solos and combined cohesion produced cries for more – dutifully obliged – and wonderful reception from our audience.
WHAT A NIGHT – WHAT A PERFORMANCE!
OUR THANKS GO OUT TO PAUL OUR BAND LEADER, SAM OUR BAND MANAGER AND OUR WONDERFUL PERFORMERS, OUR SPONSORS RWK GOODMAN AND OF COURSE CHARLIE.
(David Bickers MBE)
It was an incredible performance and a thoroughly inspiring event Ben Lees (Guest)
The band were amazing and all of our guests loved the event and were highly impressed Louise Hart (Guest)
Thank you so much for setting up and supporting the Big Band project alongside all the other wonderful initiatives of the Foundation over the 40+ years. I think you can see in our faces (not to mention WhatsApp posts!) what it means to us. I also want to express my appreciation of the work of Sam, an incredibly good band manager, and Paul, in pulling the music together, and all the others who keep the show on the road, often behind the scenes Aileen (Band Member)
PLAYLIST WILTSHIRE CONCERT 13th JANUARY 2024
- Route 66 – vocal – dance tune
- Tuxedo Junction – instrumental dance tune
- C jam blues – instrumental dance tune
- Almost like being in love – vocal – dance tune
- Jazz police– feature band tune
- Jump jive and wail – instrumental dance tune
- For once in my life – vocal – dance tune
- Doin basie’s thing – instrumental dance tune
- Sway – vocal– feature band tune
- Little brown jug – instrumental dance tune
- Pick up the pieces – feature band tune
- Come fly with me – vocal – dance tune
- Splanky – instrumental dance tune
- On the sunny side of the street – instrumental dance tune
- Glory of love – vocal – dance tune
- Wood choppers ball – instrumental dance tune
- Embraceable you – vocal– feature band tune
- In the mood – instrumental dance tune
- Hey mambo – vocal – feature band tune
- Birdland – feature band tune