“We’re carrying on within the tradition of big bands, what would be relevant today- modifying the message, and making it translatable and accessible to the people, so that they have something to connect to. We represent that bridge.”
- Igmar Thomas
The Revive Big Band’s roots began at the Revive Music’s Evolution Series Jam Session, hosted by Igmar Thomas.
It was only when the legendary Nicholas Payton walked in that Igmar had moment of clarity: this series had all the ingredients to make the perfect big band: A leader, composer, and more than enough musicians to pick from
Fast forward to the summer of 2010, and the stars aligned. Revive Music, led by Meghan Stabile, had an opportunity for Igmar’s Big Band to perform at George Wein’s CareFusion Jazz Fest. We booked the gig and secured Nicholas Payton to join in as a special guest, and the response was magical. By the end of the show, the Revive Big Band was born. Or as the New York Times has stated, “The Big Band Rose Again”.
Heralded by the Village Voice for having New York City’s “most electrifying young lions in jazz,”, the Revive Big Band is a 20+ piece big band led by Igmar Thomas, current MD for Ms. Lauryn Hill, former bandleader for Nas. Combining jazz, hip-hop, funk, soul, blues & gospel, the band's members are all-stars in their own right, collectively garnering 27 Grammy nominations and 13 Grammy wins between them.
Grounded in Black American Music, especially the jazz big band, the Revive Big Band redefines what the big band sounds like. Covered in nearly every major media outlet from the New York Times, to NPR, to Okayplayer, the Revive Big Band has performed all over the world and has collaborated with some of the greatest artists out there today, including Talib Kweli, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Common, Esperanza Spalding, Gregory Porter, Bilal, Robert Glasper, Pharoahe Monch, Dr. Lonnie Smith, Nicholas Payton, Terrence Blanchard, among many others.