Piccadilly Dance Orchestra Celebrates 20 Years of Big Band Sound
Michael Law's Piccadilly Dance Orchestra renowned for its faithful recreation of the British big band sound of the 1920s and 30s, is embarking on a grand 20th anniversary tour. The London-based vintage music veteran will be performing its repertoire of dance, swing and jazz favourites at UK venues throughout 2008, culminating in a gala concert at acclaimed acoustic venue, Cadogan Hall, on 23rd October 2008.
Founded in 1988, the orchestra has a worldwide reputation through its five albums and numerous broadcasts on BBC television and radio. Following in the footsteps of the great British dance bands, the PDO played for four years at the Ritz Hotel in Piccadilly and then for six years at the sumptuous Savoy Hotel – the honorary home of the British dance bands.
Much in demand for concerts and social events, PDO's performance highlights include the BAFTA awards, concerts at the South Bank Centre, the first ever 'Proms in the Park', the 50th anniversary of VE Day, and Earl Spencer's 30th Birthday party at Althorp – at which Princess Diana personally requested a rendition of 'In The Mood'.
And PDO's press coverage could hardly be more complimentary, with rave reviews in titles from the 'Evening Standard' and the 'Daily Express' to 'Now' and the 'Noel Coward Society' magazine. Radio 2's Russell Davies even described musical director Michael Law's rendition of a Noel Coward song as "better than the original".
The ten-strong orchestra – six horns, drums, double bass, banjo and piano – is a tight ensemble, not a big band blast. Driven with great panache by Michael Law's piano and vocals, the authentic arrangements bring the songs to life and give each instrument the chance to speak. For its Gala performance at Cadogan Hall, the orchestra will be augmented to 13, with four superb female "crooners" and founder, singer and pianist Michael Law.
Michael Law, founder and musical director of the PDO, says: "Plenty of musicians imitate the sound of Frank Sinatra and Glenn Miller but very few ensembles recreate the style and sophistication of the British dance bands – the pop stars of their day. The Piccadilly Dance Orchestra is the true successor to the great bands of the 1920s and 30s, transporting audiences to a bygone era of impossibly glamorous nightclubs, champagne cocktails, and the great songs of Cole Porter, George Gershwin, Noel Coward and Irving Berlin."
Tickets for the PDO Gala 20th Anniversary Celebration at Cadogan Hall, priced from £15 to £22.50, are available online at www.cadoganhall.com, or from the box office on 020 7730 4500.
The Piccadilly Dance Orchestra was founded in 1988 by Michael Law, with his partner Alan Bennett-Law joining as manager in 1992.
Past clients include HRH Prince Charles, Earl Spencer, John Paul Getty, BAFTA, Vodafone, Sir Terence Conran, Charlotte de Rothschild, The Henley Festival, The Savoy, The Ritz, Grosvenor House and The Hilton Park Lane.
Michael Law is setting up a charitable education project to promote the music of the 1920s and 30s to young people, with an advisory board of supporters including Harriet Spicer, Lawrence Marks, Angela Rippon, John Lloyd-Morgan, John Learmonth, Marc Sinden, Sir Sydney and Lady Samuelson, Baroness Mitchell, Ruth Leon, Sir John Read and Michael Rendle.
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