The Barristers Big Band ("BBB") was founded in Chicago in 2000 by members of The Chicago Bar Association who share a love of big band jazz and want to keep the music of the great big band era alive. Its members come from every walk of the Chicago legal community - big firm partners, solo practitioners, government lawyers, law students and even a sitting federal judge (whose courtroom serves as the band's rehearsal space).
The BBB is a repertory band. Over the years, it has studied and performed the music of many of the great big bands, including Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Artie Shaw, Benny Goodman, Glenn Miller, Tommy Dorsey, Jimmy Dorsey and Stan Kenton. The BBB has also collaborated with long-time Basie trumpeter and composer Bob Ojeda to commission several original pieces, including the swinging Legal Eagle, the haunting Gotham Lullaby and the newly minted Obama Suite.
Led by clarinetist Band Leader John Vishneski, the BBB has a special affinity for charts that incorporate or feature the clarinet, giving the band its unique sound. With a full set of saxes, including a bari, and a powerful brass section sporting a tuba, a rhythm section that swings like mad, three solo vocalists and a female vocal trio, the BBB can play any style from Dixieland to traditional swing to Bebop.
Many concerts are recorded and are frequently featured on WCDB 90.9 FM's Saturday night show called Midwest Ballroom. The Barristers Big Band is always looking for its next adventure.