Little Big Band
“The Little Band with the Big Sound”
The Little Big Band, a RAMI award winning jazz band from Rockford, IL offers some of the best big band, swing and jazz music available in the area. The band plays predominately a big band/swing repertoire, but it has numerous arrangements for latin, funk, rock, blues & jazz. The arrangements were written by Cary Sheley especially for the instrumentation. It gives you that "Big Band" sound from a smaller, more affordable, group.
here’s aVideo Sampler of the Band:
Featuring Vocals By
Michelle Duvall (vocals) Michelle DuVall is rapidly gaining a reputation in the Midwest for singing some of the most swinging and refined jazz around. She has been described as “a cross between Ella Fitzgerald and Bernadette Peters” by the Wisconsin State Journal and “a vocalist who can take a standard and make it shine” by the Isthmus Newspaper. After moving to Madison in 1997, she joined musical forces with pianist extraordinaire Michael B.B. and UW-School of Music Dean, John Shaffer on bass. Along with Madison’s Mike Turk on drums, the combo launched a musical project of standards sung in the big band era, 1950’s small group sessions, as well as jazz standards from all ages. The group performed regularly at The Restaurant Magnus and for numerous private events.
Recently, DuVall has appeared in several venues with Get Down, Mister Cat!, the seven-piece combo headed by herself and multi-instrumentalist Doug Brown, including Madison’s Jazz at Five series as well as the esteemed Isthmus Jazz Festival. DuVall and Brown performed for last summer’s Mayors’ Conference at the Governor’s mansion and recently played at The Monona Terrace for Jim Doyle’s inauguration.
She is featured here with the Little Big Band, the 7-piece band from Rockford, IL. She is a perfect match, singing with the group. The music she sings and they play, go together so well, it was a obvious connection. She really shines with the group. She is featured on their new CD “Blue Moon” on a swingin’ arrangement of Stompin’ at the Savoy”.
Diane Lewis (vocals) Born and raised in Seattle, WA. Diane traveled the U.S. singing with shows and dance bands during the 70's. She moved to Chicago to pursue her love of jazz and worked many of the areas great musicians from 18 piece bands to jazz trios in the 80's.
You hear her perform at the Geneva Inn every Friday and Saturday evening from 6:30pm to 10pm. Check out this very special venue with this link: www.genevainn.com.
While raising their four children, Lewis continues singing with various jazz groups on weekends and for casuals and resorts around the Chicago area. Then in 1998, she was recruited by a fast growing contemporary church in Lake Geneva as a director of music ministry. During that time she wrote dozens of worship and inspirational songs for the services and produced and recorded them on a CD with the team. After five or six years, she decided to expand her writing skills for more than just church worship songs. She wrote songs for her local American Cancer Society's relay for life fundraiser and her county's Community Action Gala Fundraiser. She wrote songs for the brides-to-be at several weddings for which she played piano and sang. Then she began writing songs for various business' websites such as "Martini Me" for the www.oliveblacklounge she performed in for a couple of years. And for www.genevainn.com where she currently performs every Friday and Saturday evening in the Grand View Room overlooking Lake Geneva, Wisconsin.
Diane is featured here with the Little Big Band, from Rockford IL. Her style, beautiful voice and pleasing stage presence are an asset for the group. She is featured on the band’s new CD “Blue Moon” . Be sure to check out her performance on Moon River and The Very Thought of You. You’re sure to enjoy.
Cary Sheley (trombone/vocals/arranger) has played with numerous musical organizations, including the show band aboard Cunard's "Royal Viking Sun" cruise ship, where he spent a year cruising the world with stops in Europe, Africa, South America and Asia. While aboard the "Sun" he played behind many artists including Marilyn Macoo and Debbie Reynolds. He spent 6 years on the road with the world famous "Glenn Miller Orchestra". He played lead trombone behind Larry O'Brien, the current leader of the orchestra, with performances in all 50 states, south america, spain and japan. While on the band, he sang in the vocal group the "Moonlight Serenaders", recorded 3 albums, including Barry Manilow's "Singing With The Big Bands" and a video for PBS with Kathie Lee Gifford. As a freelance artist he has performed with many entertainers and musicians including Andy Williams, Mel Torme, Bobby Shew, Louie Bellson and Carl Fontana.
Ken Stein (tenor/alto/clarinet/flute) is currently on the faculty at Rock Valley College in Rockford, Illinois. His teaching includes leading the Rock Valley College Jazz Ensemble as well as the Community Jazz Ensemble. After spending four years in The Air Force Band of The Midwest, Ken attended and graduated from Northern Illinois University with a Masters Degree in Music Performance. His private study includes clarinet study with Harvey Hermann, Dr Wilbur Smith, and Clark Brody. Ken's jazz saxophone teachers include Joe Daly, Rich Corpolongo and Mark Colby. Ken has played with The Milwaukee Ballet, Tony Bennett, The Manhattan Transfer, Bob Hope, George Burns, Mark Colby, as well as many others. He presently performs in Chicago with the Michael Lerich Orchestra and is active as a clinician and soloist. Ken and his wife Coni live in Rockford, Illinois.
Randy Schneeberger (trumpet/vocals/flugelhorn) is currently the Associate Director of Bands at Monroe High School in Monroe, Wisconsin, where his responsibilities include the Concert Band and three jazz ensembles. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin at Eau Claire, where he studied trumpet with Dominic Spera. Randy was a staff musician and bandleader for Carnival Cruises based in Miami, and played lead trumpet on the Al Pierson "Big Band USA". He has also played lead trumpet with the traveling companies of the musicals "42nd Street" and "A Chorus Line", the Jimmie Dorsey Orchestra, Englebert Humperdinck, Red Skelton, The Temptations and The Four Tops. Besides playing with The Little Big Band, his local musical activities include the Ken Kilian Saxtet and the Gardenia Bands, and directing the Monroe City Band. Randy has also served as acting principal trumpet in the Dubuque Symphony, and plays in the American Vintage Orchestra in Dubuque. In his spare time, Randy is an active model railroader, and he and his wife Joey and their Boxer 'Dinah' live in Monroe, where they enjoy hiking and watching wildlife.
Ken Kilian (alto/bari/clarinet/flute) is mainly a baritone sax player who loves to play all kinds of instruments. He has performed with many notable bands as well as played in back-up bands for Jack Jones, Kathy Lee Gifford, John Davidson, Carol Lawrence, Fred Travelina, Johnny Desmond, Myron Floren and many more. After graduation from UW-Platteville, Ken spent many years on the road with several of the touring big bands playing baritone sax. He also was the band director for the Bloomington, Wisconsin school district for 11 years, and he currently performs with and manages the Dick Jurgens Orchestra in addition to performing with his own groups, theSaxtet, Swingtet, and SaxtetPlus. Ken is delighted to be a part of the Ken Stein's & Cary Sheley's Little Big Band because anything they do is always "top notch".
Tom Stein (piano) is an alumnus of Berklee College of Music & Northern Illinois University. He has shared the stage with Marian McPartland, Clark Terry, J.J. Johnson, Kenny Rogers, & Jodi Benson the voice of "The Little Mermaid". He is active as a public school music teacher.
Guy Fiorenza (bass) At an early age Guy studied piano. In the late 1940's he started playing the string bass in high school. In 1950 he started playing professionally with small combos and local dance bands. He joined Dave Remington and his Dixieland Six in 1960. Guy has worked with Bobbie Lewis, Chuck Hedges, Eddie Higgins, Johnie Faren, Bud Freeman, Dorothy Paige-Turner and many other local jazz groups. His playing has included a wide variety of musical styles and jobs such as stage shows, commercial sound tracks, and concerts. Guy has performed in the early jazz concerts for Father Owens, the night pastor of Chicago, and has appeared at the Clock Tower Jazz Festival, On The Waterfront, First Night Rockford, the La Crosse Jazz Festival and the Madison Jazz Society concerts. He also performed with Clark Terry in the Rock Valley College 8th annual Jazz Festival and the Tribute to Benny Goodman concert featuring Martha Tilton. Besides playing with the Little Big Band, Guy is making musical appearances with Rockford, Madison and Chicago musical groups.
Dave Sterner (drums) is currently a freelance drummer in Northern Illinois and Southern Wisconsin. He plays with a wide variety of musical groups including work with the “Kickin’ Brass”, the “Little Big Band” from Rockford IL. He spent 10 years playing with wedding bands from the Chicago area including work with “Casabanca” and “Auto Bahn” as well as 4 years with “Cross Roads” a country band out of Belvidere, IL. He has performed with shows at Rock Valley’s Starlight Theatre. He has a degree from Rock Valley College and played with the Community Jazz Ensemble.