High trumpet star Louis Dowdeswell has linked up with his friend and fellow big band trombone performer and composer Callum Au to launch a new project entitled, 'Louis & Cal's Ultimate Big Band Toolkit'.
It is the latest publication offering from the long time collaborators, and is designed to take students, amateurs and aspiring professionals to the next level of their understanding and appreciation of big band playing, focusing not only on the technical excellence, but on all of the skills that it takes to be a band musician.
Brass band fans
Speaking exclusively to 4BR, Callum said that both he and Louis were huge fans of the brass band movement and had been determined for some time to try and help bridge the gap between it and the big band scene.
"This has been a true passion project for us, and something we have wanted to make happen for a long time. We have notched up thousands of hours of practice and performance over the years and want to pass that on.
We are both keen followers of 4BR and are continually amazed by the standard of the playing at all levels of the banding movement.
We want to bring our genres closer together through these 10 new tracks, and we thought this was the best way of doing it — in an enjoyable and informative way."
Playalong album and more
Cal explained that 'Louis & Cal's Ultimate Big Band Toolkit' is in part a playalong album; 10 brand new, original tracks spanning 100 years of big band styles, specially written to put every instrument and part through its technical and stylistic paces.
It is also an ebook, with every chart presented alongside composer insights and playing tips.
We want to bring our genres closer together through these 10 new tracks, and we thought this was the best way of doing it — in an enjoyable and informative wayCallum Au
Guides and advice
Lastly, and maybe most importantly, it is a collection of short guides, advice and thoughts from many of the industry's top musicians, covering everything from style and sight-reading to the secrets of great ensemble playing, improvising and more.
Callum added: "We want to try and get people to enjoy exploring Big Band music making, so we've also set up a discount code for 4BR reader on Louis' site — to get 10% off, they'll need to enter the code 4BARSREST on the checkout page. We've set this up to be valid until 31st January."
Find out more and purchase
'Louis & Cal's Ultimate Big Band Toolkit' is available for £19.99. It is also available for saxophone, drums bass, guitar and piano.
To find out more and to purchase, go to: https://shop.louisdowdeswell.com/products/the-ultimate-big-band-toolkit
There are some great taster videos to enjoy at: