Strata Big Band

Official Website of the Strata Big Band

News, Appearances, Projects, Pictures, and Videos

A Smash Hit in San Antonio!

July 25, 2021 – We just performed at the Texas Bandmasters Convention in San Antonio on Friday, and the concert was electric! The band was at the top of their game, and the crowd was enthusiastic and responsive. Facebook is alive with the great comments and favorable reviews!

What made this performance even more special was that this was our first public outing in 16 months, since March 2020, way back at the very beginning of the pandemic. We had the opportunity to play 7 of the songs that will be on the album, a bit of “road testing” if you will, and that really helps prepare us for the studio.

The recording sessions start next week! The rhythm section will go into the studio first to put down their tracks for the trickiest song on the album, The Detective Chronicles, which is an homage to 1960’s television detective shows. Then on Saturday July 31 (which happens to be my birthday–boy, do I know how to throw a party!), the whole band will go in to put down the remaining tracks. We’ll have some “make up” sessions in the weeks to follow to polish up the little things, and then we’re on to mixing and mastering. We hope to have the project “in the can” by the end of August, and at that point we’ll submit it to a couple of jazz record labels in hopes of getting large-scale distribution. Exciting times!

The last bit I’ll mention is that this Saturday, our recording day, is also the last day of our fundraising drive. If you know of anyone whom you feel might like to support this project, please feel free to reach out to them and encourage them to “join the team.” We’ve got the last $4k to raise in this week–daunting, but not impossible!

Once again, thank you all so much for your contribution and support–you will be the reason this all comes together!

John Wasson – The Strata Big Band

Strata Big Band Performing at Texas Bandmasters Convention July 23, 2021

July 21, 2021 – We’re here in San Antonio and the band hits the stage at the beautiful Lila Cockrell Theatre in the Convention Center on Friday, July 23 at 2:00 pm! This is our first public appearance since the very beginning of the pandemic on March 15, 2020, when we were one of the last groups to perform live in Deep Ellum in Dallas. We’ve been looking forward to performing live for quite some time and I can’t imagine a better audience for our return than this esteemed crowd of band directors and instrumental students. If you’re in attendance at TBA, come out and hear the band!

Kickstarter Campaign Update

June 17, 2021 – Kickstarter Campaign Update: We’ve got a good start on the project, thanks to some early backers. Thanks to all of you for pitching in; it’s great to know that you are with us. I thought I’d give you a little rundown on what we’re up to these couple of weeks. For starters, the band played their last live performance over a year ago, and then the pandemic hit. It wasn’t until this past April that we had our first rehearsal/reading session! We met again last weekend (June 13) for another rehearsal, and this time shot some video and took a band picture. I’ll upload some videos soon, but for now, here’s the band!

June 2, 2021 – Kickstarter Campaign Launch! Here’s the story on our Kickstarter page:

I formed the Strata Big Band to provide a venue for my own compositions and arrangements performed by some of the great jazz artists in the DFW metroplex. Though the band has been active in various forms for over 20 years, we’ve never released our own recording–until now! I am excited for you to hear this wonderful collection of talented jazz musicians, as well as the music I’ve created to feature them.

We plan to enter the recording studio later this summer and record my compositions and arrangements, and we’ll capture the entire process on video. We’ll then mix and master the final product and manufacture the finished CD, with the hopes of releasing it on a major jazz label. I invite you to come on board and assist us in this endeavor! All pledges, whether small or large, will assist us in reaching our goal. For as little as the cost of the downloaded tracks or a finished CD, all the way up to acquiring the actual music used in recording the album, anyone can get involved. Come and help us make this project a reality!

June 2, 2021 – The band will appear at the Texas Bandmasters Association Annual Convention in San Antonio on July 23 this summer. We were originally scheduled to appear last summer but with Covid-19 the entire convention was converted to a virtual event. The convention returns live this summer and we’ll be there!

June 2, 2021 – We’re heading into the studio to record our first CD project. By recording time we should know the results of our Kickstarter campaign. We’ll post pictures and videos both of the prep rehearsals and the actual recording process, and performance videos will be a part of the rewards offered to the Kickstarter backers. Be sure to sign up!