in a very real sense, was the cradle of the big band movement. Here is
where Hal McIntyre, Artie Shaw, Buddy Morrow, Tony Pastor, Charlie
Spivak, Conrad Gosso and a host of others grew up and had their start.
Today, their music lives on in the form of clubs and societies throughout the state, designed to promote and preserve it. These include:
The Connecticut Big Band Society: This New Britain-based organization is open to everyone who has an interest in swing music of the 1930s and 40s. Founded in the early 1970’s by Hartford band leader Al Gentile and other dedicated enthusiasts the organization promotes contemporary big band music as performed by Connecticut musicians and orchestras.
The Hartford Jazz Society: This organization enjoys a history as rich as it is diverse. Founded in 1960 by dedicated jazz aficionados, including Art Fine, its first president, it is the oldest continuously operating jazz society in the country. HJS is dedicated to fostering in each succeeding generation an appreciation and love for jazz in all its many forms.
The Glenn Miller Society: Although this organization, dedicated to preserving the memory and the music of Glenn Miller, is based in Dorset, England, it has many members throughout Connecticut who collect his records, promote his name and look forward to receiving the “Moonlight Serenader” newsletter.
The Connecticut Traditional Jazz Club: This is one of the more durable organizations devoted to the preservation and popularization of the art of jazz. The club has served as a valuable outlet for live jazz performances and has been instrumental in rekindling the careers of several semi-retired jazzmen. Because jazz is broadly based their programming includes a broad range of performers, from the John Handy-Punch Miller jazz band to Eddie Condon and Gene Krupa.
Coon-Sanders Original Nighthawks: This club honors the memory of the band that was first in Kansas City to achieve national recognition. Due to their nightly broadcasts on clear channel WDAF and later over the fledgling Columbia Broadcasting System, the Nighthawks' popularity eclipsed that of Jean Goldkette, Ben Bernie and Paul Whiteman.