Gap Mangione has always loved big bands. His first experiences with them was as a youngster when his father would take him and his brother Chuck to hear the best of them in live performance. As a teenager he was arranging for and playing in semiprofessional groups. During his college days at Syracuse University, he was house pianist at the 1200 seat Three Rivers Inn Theater Restaurant and played in big bands accompanying the likes of Sammy Davis, Jr. and Nat King Cole. His first solo recording, Diana In The Autumn Wind, introduced the big band writing talents of Gap Mangione and Chuck Mangione to a national audience. Today, Gap has his own big band and sustains a passion for and a fascination with the sounds and possibilities of this wonderful musical entity.
The most recent edition of the Big Band, was formed originally to play a 30-week engagement at a dance club in 1990. Assembling the best musicians who lived within driving distance of Rochester, Gap set to work writing for the group and gathering musical contributions from others including Dizzy Gillespie and Chuck Mangione. The resulting combination of musicians, arrangements, and variety of material has kept the band in demand from dance clubs and jazz festivals to formal gala social occasions, from concerts to business entertainment functions.
This band with its complement of three trumpets, three trombones, four saxophones, rhythm section and vocalists, includes in its repertoire arrangements from the swing era bands through the more modern big bands to a cross-section of the best in popular music, arranged specifically for this group. The emphasis is on quality, style and variety.
Gap Mangione's big band CDs include Planet Gap , Stolen Moments and Family Holidays. Each is a jazz-oriented delight.
An evening with the Gap Mangione big band is an especially enjoyable and fun time, and an unusual musical treat.