Big bands are back—if not the same ones your grandparents went to see in the 1940s. Today’s big bands play in cafés instead of ballrooms, and instead of waltzers, their audience is made up of music aficionados who want to enjoy the dense, textured sounds. In trendy New York neighborhoods, lines form around corners to see up-and-coming ensembles, the Wall Street Journal reports.
Modern big bands combine classic elements with everything from contemporary classical to rock and electronica. They “take on such a surging, sprawling range of musical traditions and make music of them,” said one venue owner, adding that the current boom may keep “one of the most exciting vehicles in music” alive—and give musicians the “large-scale opportunity to combine the predictable with the unpredictable,” one noted.