The Mike Vax Big Band (formerly Mike Vax Jazz Orchestra)
The current MVBB (Mike Vax Big Band) (formery MVJO),(formerly the New Oakland Jazz Orchestra) is made up of musicians from many of the most famous big bands, such as: Stan Kenton, Woody Herman, Buddy Rich, Duke Ellington, Clark Terry, Tommy and Jimmy Dorsey, Glenn Miller, Cab Calloway, Ray McKinley, and Tex Beneke. These musicians are some of the finest to reside in the Bay Area.
Leader Mike Vax is a product of the City of Oakland and the Oakland Public Schools, having graduated from Oakland High School in 1960. He has led a big band off and on since his days at College of the Pacific over 35 years ago. A few of his credits include being first trumpet, soloist and road manager of the Stan Kenton Orchestra, as well as being co-leader while Mr. Kenton was recovering from surgery; leading the Dukes of Dixieland in New Orleans; producing and/or music directing for over 25 jazz festivals; and performing workshops for more than 1000 high schools, colleges and universities all over the world. He is currently an International Artist for the Getzen Musical Instrument Company.
The goals of the MVBB are to perform meaningful music, talk about the importance of the jazz heritage in America, bring jazz music to young people, and to offer our audiences a relaxed, entertaining atmosphere. The group rehearses and performs a jazz concert series at The Alice Arts Center in Oakland, CA, as well as performing at the Woodminster Amphitheater and the Calvin Simmons Theater, also in Oakland. The MVBB has performed at the Monterey Jazz Festival, the Filoli Mansion Concert Series, Yoshi's and Kimball's, plus many other venues in Northern California.
Friends of Big Band Jazz is the support group for MVBB. This nonprofit corporation has sent students to summer jazz camps on scholarships, donated funds to youth orchestras and school music programs, and raised $4000.00 for Oakland Parks and Recreation. FBBJ has donated over $60,000 for music education and musicians.
THE MIKE VAX BIG BAND (formerly Mike Vax Jazz Orchestra)
Mike Vax - Director
Friends of Big Band Jazz
154 Santa Clara Ave.
Oakland, CA 94610
Booking and Recording Information: (925) 427 6666