The Big Swing

The Big Swing is Bristol’s legendary vintage fling. Jive, jitterbug and lindy hop the night away to a live soundtrack from the Golden Age of Jazz. All abilities are welcome – from complete beginners to swing aficionados – as well as those who prefer spectate.

Come and party like it’s 1945!

Main Hall

Emily Wright & The Royals

Emily Wright RS

A much-loved institution on the Bristol jazz scene, The Royals celebrate the Kings and Queens of the swing era with their zippy, upbeat take on classics by Nat King Cole, Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Prima. Led by acclaimed singer Emily Wright, the band features some of the hottest young musicians in the City of Bristol.

19:30-20:15

Kansas Smitty’s House Band

Kansas Smitty

Kansas Smitty’s House Band is well recognised as one of the driving forces behind London’s contemporary jazz scene. Combining swing, blues, R&B, New Orleans second line and gospel, this band relentlessly pursue a sound of their own, seeking out and creating a genre-blind audience for their music.

20:45-21:30

The Bruce/Ilett Big Band

Bristol International Jazz & Blues Festival 2015.

Led by Bristol Jazz & Blues Festival’s Artistic Director, Denny Ilett, and trumpet and flugelhorn player, Johnny Bruce, The Bruce/Illet Big Band play authentically energetic versions of all your favourite swing era classics while boasting some of the UK’s finest brass musicians. Come swing, lindy hop or listen.

22:00-23:00

Swing Dance Lesson

We’ve teamed up with Swing Dance Bristol again this year to offer a free lesson to Big Swing ticket buyers. Whether you’re a complete novice or brushing up on your steps, Swing Dance Bristol will cater to all abilities.

18:30-19:00

The Foyer

The Bristol Community Big Band

The Bristol Community Big Band is an energetic local ensemble, made up entirely of non-professional musicians, playing a wide repertoire of swing, jazz, blues and Latin big band classics. Led by musical director Jonny Bruce, known throughout the country as an outstanding trumpet player.

18:15-19:00

Bartoune

One of the first Bristol-based outfits to embrace the new wave of Gypsy swing-based music Bartoune remain both distinctive and ahead of the curve thanks to their years of musical experience and an unusual instrumental line-up. Sizzling guitar, rounded double bass and ear-catching baritone saxophone ensures that the music is firmly rooted in its Parisian history, albeit with a yen to wander off around the Mediterranean and pop into North Africa from time to time.

19:30-20:15 

Ruby Two Shoes

Specialising in vintage style – both with their music and their look – Ruby Two Shoes play classic songs from the ‘30s and ‘40s with a bit of pop thrown in for good measure. This swinging six piece are guaranteed to get
an audience tapping their toes and jiving around the dance floor!

20:45-21:30

The Sisters of Swing

The Sisters of Swing is a Bristol-based all-woman big swing band with over 20 members. Their unique sound is down to the special blend of woodwind and brass coupled with a strong rhythm section and powerful vocals from Julie Patchouli. Fitzgerald, Miller, Basie, Ellington and other icons of swing feature in their set.

22:00-22:45

Vintage Makeovers

If you want an authentic look so you can dance the night away in true vintage style, look no further! For one day only Heartfelt Vintage will be popping up at Colston Hall with their travelling vintage makeover booth and pop up shop ready to transform you into a swing dancing goddess. Whether you’re looking for a top to toe look or simply want a few victory rolls Heartfelt Vintage will be able to help. Armed with rails of gorgeous swing dresses and some of the best vintage hair stylists and makeup artists in town your perfect look awaits. To book an appointment call 0117 904 2898.