Experience the Tom Cunningham Orchestra
C’mon, all you hep cats! Come see for yourself why everyone calls the Tom Cunningham Orchestra “the Swingin’est Band Around!” Frankie Manning, one of the original Whitey’s Lindy Hoppers, said it best when he said, “I haven’t heard it played that good since Basie!” What higher compliment could be paid to a swing band?
The Tom Cunningham Orchestra plays the best Basie since Basie, the best Goodman since Goodman, the best Ellington since Ellington, the best Miller since Miller. . . the best swing music since the swing era. This is their 39th year of swingin’ DC! During that time, they’ve collected the finest big band library – not modern, glib arrangements, but the original, hard swingin’ charts that made swing music ageless — and that’s what makes the Tom Cunningham Orchestra the best for dancing, the best for listening, and the best!
Adding to the Orchestra’s luster are their renowned singers. Robin (Mrs. Tom) Cunningham shares her husband’s passion for the Swing Era, and her love for it shines through in her swingin’ style and interpretations. Robin sang with the Artie Shaw Orchestra, under the direction of the late Dick Johnson, whenever they were in town. She’e also sung the Anthem at sporting events for the Redskins and Nationals. The phenomenally rich harmonies of the YazooZazz Trio (Robin Cunningham, Kathy Farmer and Jeanine Greene) cover the “Sisters” trio gamut from the Boswell Sisters, Dandridge Sisters through the Andrews Sisters and more.
This band’s resume is impressive: Tom and Robin have traveled as far as Australia to perform and to teach swing. The band has performed at the Kennedy Center on multiple occasions, the Smithsonian, The Barns of Wolf Trap, Blues Alley (all to standing ovations), presidential and gubernatorial inaugurals, the Cherry Blossom and other major Balls; they’ve been a “radio orchestra” and made several TV appearances, including BET’s Jazz Central and Maryland Public Television’s “Big Band Battle,” where the viewers voted them a 2-to-1 winner. They are holders of the Washington Area Musicians’ Association’s “Wammie” Award as the region’s outstanding big band/swing group. Their vinyl album, “Yes Indeed!,” received national airplay and glowing reviews. Their second release, “All The Cats Join In,” ditto, and sold out a second printing. A third release, “One O’clock Boogie, Two O’clock Jump,” which also received rave reviews, is still being heard around the world on XM-Sirius. Their fourth release, “Swingin’ and Singin’,” is their best offering yet!