Apr 9, 2022
Broadway musicals have been the source of many notable jazz standards, so it should come as no surprise that the DIVA Jazz Orchestra’s latest release is DIVA Swings Broadway. The 15-piece band, fast approaching its 30th year as a performing group, lends their seemingly boundless talents to nine songs, some well known, and others which dig deep into the Broadway Songbook.
DIVA was founded by Stanley Kay, one-time manager and relief drummer for Buddy Rich and the band’s drummer and musical director, Sherrie Maricle. In 1990, Stanley heard Sherrie play, was impressed, and decided to create a band of like-minded players. In 1992 the search was on, and through nationwide auditions the foundation for DIVA was poured. From the world’s largest jazz festivals to television and even film (the award-winning documentary The Girls in the Band) there seems to be no stage too big for DIVA.
The band has a core of musicians who have spent a decade or more in the band, including Noriko Ueda (bass), Tomoko Ohno (piano), Sara Jacovino (trombone) and Maricle. Other great players such as Anat Cohen and Ingrid Jensen have passed through the band after lengthy stays. To the experienced players come a continuing flow of new talent that should stand DIVA in good stead for another thirty years or more.
Podcast 896 is my conversation with Sherrie Maricle, as talk about DIVA Swings Broadway, how she keeps a jazz orchestra together after the pandemic, and their plans for a 30th birthday celebration next year. Musical selections include “With Every Breathe I Take” from the Cy Coleman-penned musical City of Angels, and “Love Who You Love,” from the musical A Man of No Importance.