Big band jazz comes to Shrewsbury

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By Jesse Kucewicz, Contributing Writer

Members of the Bad News Jazz and Blues Orchestra play.
Members of the Bad News Jazz and Blues Orchestra play. (Photo by/Jesse Kucewicz)

SHREWSBURY – The Bad News Jazz and Blues Orchestra had members of the Shrewsbury community tapping their toes and swinging on the dancefloor at the Scandinavian Athletic Club July 12.

The 19-person group based out of Northampton traveled to Shrewsbury thanks to a grant from the Shrewsbury Cultural Council.

Publicly funded concerts such as this are often performed by rock groups and cover bands, but Bad News Jazz and Blues perform everything from Sinatra and Gershwin to more modern rock tunes.

Neena Mohanka chairs the Shrewsbury Cultural Council and said that bringing a different style of music to the area was an exciting change.

“This is a great opportunity with this group,” said Mohanka. “Everything you do has a niche that many people will like.” 

“Normally bands are four or five people, so you can imagine the sound that a band of 19 people is going to have,” she continued. “And when we talked to SAC Park and found out that we could do it outside, that’s even better.”

The leader and founder of Bad News Jazz and Blues, Jeff Gavioli, made sure that the audience was swinging to the music just as much as the orchestra.

“We’re not paying our mortgages with what we’re getting paid here, that’s not the point of this,” Gavioli said. “We come out here and have fun as a group and with our audience.”