Swingin' With The 8-Bit Big Band

Feb 21, 2020

The 8-Big Big Band with director Charlie Rosen and Grace Kelly
Credit gracekellymusic.com

Led by arranger and founder Charlie Rosen, the 8-Bit Big Band has rekindled a love of swing with fans of game music. Following a sold-out show in New York City, the band has invited high-energy sax virtuoso Grace Kelly to join them for two concerts in Boston on March 1.  

As Charlie told me, he has so much admiration for classic themes from Super Mario Brothers, The Legend of Zelda and Final Fantasy that he thinks of them as The Great Game Songbook. Charlie says his love of Broadway provides the inspiration for his arrangements, which range from classic Benny Goodman to a Frank Sinatra-style cover of Still Alive from Portal.

Grace and Charlie performed together as part of  The Late Show Band, and their energy just clicked. Grace has been a special guest for many of the 8-Bit Big Band's concerts.

Both Charlie and Grace are planning to debut new arrangements of beloved game themes at the Boston concerts. The band has released two albums, and third is due out this summer.  

Episode tracklist:

All arrangements by Charlie Rosen, and all performances by The 8-Bit Big Band

Koji Kondo: The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time: Gerudo Valley

Nobuo Uematsu: Final Fantasy: The Chocobo Theme

Koji Kondo: Super Mario Brothers: Mambo

Jonathan Coulton: Portal: Still Alive

Koji Kondo: Super Mario Sunshine: Delfino Plaza

Kazumi Totaka: Luigi's Mansion Theme

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Thanks to Dick Roberts for production assistance and Irene Chang, PAZZ Productions