AFTER a five-year absence the Apollo Big Band will return to Basingstoke.

As part of the Lions Variety for charity concert season, the Lions Club of Basingstoke will welcome to band to the town for the show on February 16.

Held at Queen Mary’s College, the Apollo Big Band will open the annual Basingstoke concert.

Formed in 2001, the band is based at Stockcross, Berkshire is a non-profit making society, with the objectives to promote interest and participation in music from the big band era.

In addition to playing regularly at the Newbury Corn Exchange the band has played at The Anvil, The Hexagon in Reading and The Theatre Royal in Winchester and have performed in Holland, Germany and Switzerland.

They have supported several charity events gaining in reputation The Apollo Big Band, featuring 17 musicians, is probably now the best amateur big band in the south of England.

The band plays the original scores back to Basie and Miller as well as the more contemporary arrangements of today.

The programme features strong solo spots.The guest vocalist for this occasion will be Steph Richardson, jazz singer and songwriter who has worked with many great musicians, artists and bands.

The Big Band will be appearing on February 16 from 7.30pm, with tickets costing £12.

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