Celebrating Jazz: Marjorie Barnes and Millennium Jazz Orchestra

Jazz singer Marjorie Barnes and the Millennium Jazz Orchestra, led by Joan Reinders, are set to release their new album, “Both Sides Now,” on 27 May, offering a diverse repertoire of American Songbook classics with a fresh twist.

Album release and inspiration

On 27 May 2023, the new album “Both Sides Now” will be released, featuring American-born Marjorie Barnes and the Millennium Jazz Orchestra, led by Joan Reinders. The album is a reflection of Barnes' life journey and her passion for big band music. The selected repertoire showcases a variety of tempos and styles, with Reinders adding his unique touch through intricate arrangements.

Marjorie Barnes first came to the Netherlands in 1975 with the successful American group The Fifth Dimension, known for the global hit “Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In.” The band performed as the opening act for Frank Sinatra at the Concertgebouw. In 1980, she returned to the country as a musical star (both Broadway and West End) in “Bubbling Brown Sugar.” After finding love in the Netherlands, she decided to settle here.

Joan Reinders is a conductor, composer, arranger, and teacher. He started the Barchem Big Band in 1985, which has been called the Millennium Jazz Orchestra (MJO) since 1990. As the leader of this 18-piece ensemble, Reinders made a name for himself with projects around Bernstein and Gershwin. MJO also recorded about ten albums, mostly featuring Reinders' own compositions.

Barnes praised Reinders' work, describing it as the sound a modern big band should have. His arrangements are challenging and layered, contributing to the energetic sound of the big band. The album aims to reach a wide jazz audience, with the Millennium Jazz Orchestra considered one of the best in the Netherlands.

Music from the 1920s to the 1980s

The chosen repertoire for “Both Sides Now” represents various moments in Barnes' life. As a storyteller, she enjoys sharing these songs, which span from the 1920s to the 1980s, with their beautiful stories and lyrics. Barnes believes many listeners will relate to the themes of different life periods, desires, dreams, and disappointments.

Concert details and background information

The album release concert will take place on 27 May at 20:30 in LantarenVenster, Rotterdam.

Directions and venue

LantarenVenster is located in the vibrant area of Wilhelminapier, close to the iconic Erasmus Bridge. Accessible by public transport, it's a popular destination for film and music enthusiasts.

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