Meet Grand Junction’s Big Band – The ‘Frank Bregar Orchestra’
Have you had the opportunity to catch a concert with the Frank Bregar Orchestra? They're making their way to Fruita this week, and it's a perfect chance to enjoy some Big Band Swing.
Frank Bregar is a well-known bandleader from the state of Colorado. He relocated to Grand Junction forty-some years ago, and launched a new version of the band.
The very first gig I ever played was with the Frank Bregar Orchestra (then it was called "The Men of Music") on New Year's Eve 1989. I was a whopping 19 years old. Wow, 30 years ago. I've played for him ever since. Well, this Big Band is playing a free show this Friday, and I hope you can make plans to attend.
No doubt you are familiar with some of the players. The photo at top was taken last year (2018) at Fruita's Civic Center Park. The photo below was taken during a recording session at Aspen Leaf Recording Studio.
From left to right, starting top row: Travis Swanson (former member), Debbie Wilson, Mick Wilson, Frank Bregar, Greg Karly, Judd Berry, Ron Bradley, Front row: Mike Gazdak, Krystyn Hartman, Rob Labig, Waylon Jordan
What do they play? Well, you can count on a number of Big Band standards. In addition, they tend to break out a Big Band arrangement of contemporary tunes. What do they sound like? Take a listen.
If you would like to hear more of that, make your way to Fruita's Civic Center Park this Thursday, July 18, at 7:30. The Frank Bregar Orchestra will host a free concert. Bring a lawn chair or blanket, water, sunscreen if needed, and maybe even bug spray.
Keep your eyes and ears open for the Frank Bregar Orchestra. You'll see them, or on some occasions the "reduced" five-piece version of the band, Rock N' Swing, at venues all over western Colorado.