No other orchestra can boast that their first performance was backing the legendary singing star HARRY CONNICK Jnr! Such is the heritage of the world famous Memphis Belle Swing Orchestra which was formed in 1989 especially for the David Puttnam movie Memphis Belle.

The impact of the young orchestra dressed in 8th American Army Air Force uniform, together with the stage dressing and the atmosphere of the occasion so impressed the film's bandleader Greg Francis, that he decided he would keep the orchestra together - as a living memorial to the great American Swing Bands of the 1940's.

After the filming was completed, David Puttnam asked Greg if the band would appear at the Royal Premier of the film in London, before the Duchess of Kent. The band duly appeared, and since that time they have appeared at literally hundreds of events throughout the U.K. including prestigious corporate and private functions, holiday centres, civic centre, theaters and dances, airshows such as the Biggin Hill Airshow and the Royal International Tattoo, hangar dances at many airfields including Duxford Air Museum, the Imperial War Museum and the RAF museum at Hendon, and on worldwide television at least once every year since 1990.

Although the orchestra play a wide selection of favorites, they provide a nice balance between the Glenn Miller hits and the popular hits of Tommy Dorsey, Harry James, Benny Goodman and Artie Shaw, Harry Connick Jr. and of course Frank Sinatra hit songs of the era.

Singer/bandleader JAY ASHWORTH sings all of those famous Harry Connick Jr hits, including 'It had to be you' 'Recipe for Love' and 'We are in Love', but not forgetting the 'showstopper' 'Danny Boy'!

The swing orchestra retained the original badges and emblems of the 8th AAF, and the young boys in the band all dress in full AAF style uniform. No long hair, beards or earrings are allowed. They didn't have them in the American Army during the war, and so they are not allowed now.

Another great feature with the swing orchestra is the Memphis Belle Lindyhoppers. The idea of the orchestra having it's own dancers is to show the younger dancers Ohow it was done. They instantly make everybody want to get up and jive and you can have from one boy and girl couple upwards.

In keeping with the USO style shows of the era, the orchestra introduce lots of fun on stage. They have discovered over these last 12 years, that many of the fans want a bit more than just to sit watching a bunch of musicians playing the music - however well it is played. The policy of the orchestra has always been to have lots of fun happening on stage - just how it was!

Always in demand for theme'd nights,this wonderful young vibrant orchestra has captured the hearts and minds of not only the older generation who remember how it was, but also of the younger generation who find jiving and jitterbugging - and the music, a welcome change to what's on offer these days. With a large following of members of the 32 separate Military Vehicle Trust Groups in the United Kingdom and Europe (plus a large mail lists of devoted fans) they are helping to keep alive our kind of music.

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