Black Tie Blu-bop

Grade 5

4.5 minutes

Commissioned for the Virginia Tech Golden Hokie Honor Band, Dr. Patrick Casey, conductor, at the tenth annual Virginia Tech Honor Band Weekend on January 20, 2007.

When asked to write a piece for a high school honor band my first inclination was to write something challenging but fun.  My first sketches for the piece were comprised mainly of blues scales and dance rhythms.  After a while, I began to realize that the music sounded very much like something Bela Fleck and the Flecktones would play.  Generally speaking, there’s two kinds of people in this world; those that have never heard of the Flecktones and those that think they’re amazing.

Their music is impossible to classify—how do you describe music combining elements of bluegrass, jazz, funk, blues, and just about everything else in between?  The band itself coined a phrase to name their own unique genre of music—blu-bop!

So, dress it up for the concert hall, and you have a truly unique piece that your band (especially the saxophones) will love!

Available now from the Neil A. Kjos Music Company