Meet Tracey and Julian - Leaders of the Sultans of Swing Big Band Yorkshire
Name: Tracey Thorne
Instrument: Alto sax, clarinet, tenor sax (when required)
Role: Leader/ Musical Director
At the age of 7, my hands were finally big enough to span an octave of the piano keyboard and my parents took me to my first piano lesson. So began a musical adventure that has lasted a lifetime and been a constant source of enjoyment, whichever instrument I’m playing. Aged 9 the clarinet made its appearance and I was fortunate to be a part of a generation who had access to free lessons at school, an opportunity I grasped with both hands and which got me neatly out of double maths too! The end of my school musical career dovetailed neatly with joining the Bradford Metropolitan Concert Band at 18 on the repiano stand. After a short tenure as solo clarinet, I took up the alto saxophone and began to seriously indulge my passion for big band music. In 2006 I joined a Dance Band and began to play the standards that I’d only ever heard on CD. After playing many different types of big band, dance and swing music at gigs both private and public, it became apparent that there was a place in the local music scene for big band favourites and numbers currently enjoying the swing revival not only to sit and listen to, but also to get up and jive to.
It was time to take the plunge and realise a lifelong dream of setting up a big band playing the kind of music I have lived and breathed since childhood. Having been a part of the local musical community for many years, we put out the invitation to friends and friends of friends we’ve known and played alongside for many years. The response was both astonishing and humbling! Word began to spread and as the fledgling band’s repertoire began to grow, so did the band membership. Our plan was always to have at least 2 players per pad, as far as is practical, so that we would be in the privileged position of always being able to play any gig we took a booking for, despite diary clashes with other local bands that some of our membership also played in.
As a result, we are a big band with a full and smooth sound that does justice to the great Miller, Basie, Armstrong, Ellington, Kenton (to name but a few!) numbers from the past that are still wowing audiences today.
We have always had an open, positive and inclusive ethos running through the band and as the music we play is lively and dynamic, so the rehearsals and gigs we do are always great fun and full of energy! We hope this comes across in our performance as it is our greatest wish that our audiences will enjoy our playing as much as we do.
It is an absolute honour and a great pleasure to be part of the Sultans of Swing, to constantly research and find new music charts, to feed the enthusiasm of the players, to try new ideas and to keep polishing up the repertoire so that it shines brightly for each and every performance.
Name: Julian Maxfield
Instrument: Ad hoc Car Horn
Role: Band Manager, Compere.
My name is Julian Maxfield and, along with Tracey, I am band manager and compere for The Sultans Of Swing. I have always been a music fan and have, what some might say, an eclectic taste! I absolutely love the music of the band with Glenn Miller being my favourite and In The Mood being my top piece, a piece I have to say the band play brilliantly! Outside of the band I am a big fan of Caro Emerald, Rizzle Kicks, Prince, AC/DC, Eminem, Iggy Izalea and La Roux. Of course, being of a certain age, I love anything 80`s!!
Outside of the band I am a big F1 fan, in fact motorsport of any sort! I love going to the cinema and am a bit of a Sci-Fi geek and collect movie memorabilia.
I am immensely proud to be associated with such a talented group of people and, as I am regularly practicing, hope to match their brilliance some time soon with my solo car horn!! Thanks for visiting our web site and checking us out!!