Beantown Swing Orchestra
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Beantown Swing Orchestra

Boston, Massachusetts, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2006 | SELF

Boston, Massachusetts, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2006
Band Jazz Swing

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Music

Press


"'American Idol' Alums Erika Van Pelt, Jen Hirsh and John Stevens Team Up For Holiday Concert"

Erika Van Pelt, a top 10 finalist from season 11, will team up with that season’s top 24 contestant Jen Hirsh and season three top 10 finalist John Stevens when they sing with the 36-piece Boston-based Beantown Swing Orchestra at a holiday concert in Providence, R.I. on Sunday, Dec. 9.

Stevens and Hirsh have been performing with the Beantown Swingtown Orchestra both live and on recordings on a regular basis. The big band was planning a holiday concert with those two vocalists, according to founder and director Frank Hsieh. “I mentioned this two-Idol concert to one of my trumpet players, Eric Bloom, and he told me we should call on a singer in one of his other bands, since she was also on Idol and is from Rhode Island,” Hsieh tells THR. “I had no idea he played in the Sultans of Swing band with Erika. I did know that Jen was good friends with Erika while on the show, so I asked Jen to see if Erika would be interested in playing with us, and while she was waiting to perform on one of the last Idol tour shows she texted back that she was.”

“Eric and I have played together in the Sultans for about five years now,” Van Pelt elaborates. “He is a good friend, and very talented, one of the best trumpet players around. He has a really good musical sensibility. The Sultans were my introduction into the wonderful world of weddings and corporate events. I started singing with them after one of their singers heard me doing karaoke one night. They were more than excited for me when I began my Idol journey.”

The Providence holiday concert will mark the first time Van Pelt and Hirsh will sing on stage together outside of American Idol, and the first time that Van Pelt and Stevens will perform together. “Jen and I talked constantly about performing together during and after Idol,” says Van Pelt. “We were very close on the show, and roommates from about top 60 until she was eliminated from the show. She was always one of my favorites, and I was sad to see her go. When we were rehearsing for the summer tour, I got to see her in her own element at a show in Los Angeles. Her sound is invigorating. I love listening to her sing, so getting to do this concert with her will be amazing. We already have a special duet planned.”

Van Pelt remembers watching Stevens compete on season three. “I loved John's voice. He has a great tone and a great ear for jazz, which I am a huge fan of. I've never sung with him or met him. Doing this concert together is going to be a big treat for me.” - The Hollywood Reporter


Discography

Trolley Songs (2011)
A Beantown Christmas (2011, 2012)
Stevens' Swinging Session (2013)

Photos

Bio

The Beantown Swing Orchestra is an 18-piece band representing the future of big band music, featuring American Idol finalist John Stevens.

Specializing in the performance of popular and original songs custom arranged for big band, as well as vintage Swing Era and Sinatra classics, its mission is to bring big band music back into the mainstream for all generations to enjoy.

The average age of the band members is 23, and most are under 30. This is unique among professional big bands of today but typical of those from the Swing Era.

A 4- to 18-piece string section may be added to the band for the ultimate in class and grandeur.

Now in its tenth year, the Beantown Swing Orchestra performs concerts and other events with the goal of engaging, entertaining, and educating audiences with this historically significant and most sophisticated form of American music ever created.