The Shaun Johnson Big Band Experience (BBE) is the only group taking big band music, fusing it with modern day mixes of all genres, and making the act of giving “cool.” Created for intelligent music lovers worldwide who wish to be a part of an electric musical experience accomplishing the unexpected: reaching out in an era of people typically looking out for “number one.”
The Big Band Experience creates more than music. They create feelings. Experiences. The kind you remember as, “that unbelievable night out.” Wanna levitate off your chair with the pulse of pop? Done. Just don’t ask that they hold back the edge because THAT is what makes the Big Band Experience who they are. Big band was born out of rebellion. and we owe it to Sinatra to keep that evolution alive. Suits. Edge. Energy. Contemporary sons with big band punch.
Shaun Johnson is an Emmy-winning singer/songwriter who seemed destined for a life of music from the very beginning. “one of my earliest memories he says, “Is of performing at state fair talent shows with my little sister. We’d sing Sonny and Cher songs, a cappella, when neither of us was quite tall enough to reach the microphone.”
Originally from the small town of Saint Joseph, Iowa, Shaun attended Saint John’s University before settling in Saint Cloud, Minnesota where he began his career with the nationally known vocal group, Tonic Sol-fa. The quartet has sold nearly two million albums independently and has been featured in Newsweek and on the Today Show. Shaun is still an active member.
Wanting to bring an innovative big band experience to the audience, Shaun put together a group featuring some of the best instrumentalists and arrangers in the Midwest – guys who’ve toured with such luminaries as Aretha Franklin and Johnny Mathis, who are Music Educators of the Year and who are integral members of collegiate jazz faculties. His vision was to create a contemporary big band sound with a pop flair, honoring legends like Frank Sinatra, with a nod to Michael Buble, while giving the music his own twist performing songs ranging from the “Spiderman Theme” to originals from U.s. songwriters. The proceeds from that first small tour of holiday shows were subsequently donated to local charities. The initial tour received such overwhelming feedback that an expanded holiday tour was undertaken the following year with all proceeds again going to local charities. In 2014, with increasing presenter and fan demand the BBE added even more cities to the holiday tour and for the first time began accepting regular season shows.
Look for the BBE’s very first PBS special, “Spirit of the Seasons,” to air across North America through 2016, The Big Band Experience’s first orchestra dates in 2015, and enjoy the BBE’s very first studio recording, “What’ll I Do” (The Youtube Sessions) – currently available everywhere online and at www.bigbandexperience.com