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The Big Band swings back to Hornchurch after touring country for special Christmas show

PUBLISHED: 15:00 21 November 2019

Five Star Swing multi-instrumentalists have performed on BBC TV for Children in need and Dame Vera Lynn's Charity Ball. Photo: Five Star Swing.

Five Star Swing multi-instrumentalists have performed on BBC TV for Children in need and Dame Vera Lynn's Charity Ball. Photo: Five Star Swing.

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A swing band is returning to Hornchurch to sing jazzed-up Christmas renditions of popular favourites in December.

Simone Smith surrounded by Five Star Swing band members. Photo: Chris SmithSimone Smith surrounded by Five Star Swing band members. Photo: Chris Smith

The Big Band at Christmas show will feature a wide selection of classics from the swing era, ready to delight audiences at the Queen's Theatre.

The show will be performed by The Five Star Swing which is finishing up a 24-date tour through the UK to return to their Hornchurch base.

The troupe has performed at the BBC's Children in Need as well as being featured in London's Leicester Square Theatre and has received rave reviews from the BBC and the Telegraph, who said their show was "a celebration of classic swing".

Simone Smith surrounded by Five Star Swing band members. Photo: Chris SmithSimone Smith surrounded by Five Star Swing band members. Photo: Chris Smith

Drummer Don Davies, of Hornchurch, said: "I'm excited to be bringing the big band version of all these classic Christmas songs back to my home town."

Audiences can expect hits from Glenn Miller, Frank Sinatra, Count Basie and Nat King Cole just to name a few.

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Bandleader Chris Smith told the Recorder about the unique show they put on and how important the audience is to it.

He said: "It's quite unique in that the way we present is very informal. It's rather like the audience is invited back stage for a little party with the band members.

"We have a chat with the audience and involve them in the songs."

Five Star Swing multi-instrumentalists have performed on BBC TV for Children in need and Dame Vera Lynn's Charity Ball. Photo: Five Star Swing.Five Star Swing multi-instrumentalists have performed on BBC TV for Children in need and Dame Vera Lynn's Charity Ball. Photo: Five Star Swing.

Chris has a long history on the stage and screen from being Tony Bennett's trombonist to performing a solo trumpet fanfare in the film Silver Bears, next to Sir Michael Caine and comedian Jay Leno.

His musical career started young and he joined the National Youth Jazz Orchestra of Great Britain while studying and went on to compose music and 
perform for the Reno Jazz 
Festival in Nevada and toured California, Australia and Russia with them.

He then joined the big band run by Glenn Miller's brother Herb and toured Scandinavia before returning home.

The Big Band at Christmas show will be at the Queen's Theatre on Monday, December 9.

For tickets call the theatre's Box Office on 01708 443333 or visit https://www.queens-theatre.co.uk/.

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