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About

The Lady Day Big Band is South Africa’s first all-women professional big band, founded by the dynamic trio of Lana Crowster, Amanda Tiffin and Kelly Bell. With swing, sass and style, these ladies certainly live up to the legacy of the illustrious Billie “Lady Day” Holiday, one of the most unforgettable pioneers of 20th century Jazz.

The Lady Day Big Band repertoire dances through original songs written by members as well as fresh arrangements of Jazz, African tunes, Big Band and World Music. The band draws on a roster of some of South Africa's most accomplished and loved women musicians, as well as encouraging and including emerging talent. The full band is 20 musicians strong, and the Little Big Band version is a more compact 11-piece ensemble.

Founded in 2018 to foster social unity and upliftment through music, and in part as a response to the #MeToo movement to create safe spaces for women, the Lady Day Big Band received a thunderous standing ovation after their debut performance and were immediately snapped up for performances at multiple festivals.

 

They have wowed audiences at, amongst others, the Kirstenbosch Summer Sunset Concert Series, Cape Town International Jazz Festival, the Klein Karoo Nasionale Kunste Fees, the RMB Starlight Classics, Jazzathon, and on the nationally syndicated Expresso Morning Show. The band have backed high profile artists in various platforms, including Karen Zoid, Jarrad Ricketts, Michaela Kleinsmith and others. The smaller version of the band, the Lady Day Little Big Band, have backed artists such as Vicky Sampson, Anna Davel, Karen Kortjie and appeared on Cape Talk’s Moonstruck concert.

"The Lady Day Big Band is a tight-knit outfit with impressive soloists"

                                                             - Gwen Ansell, International Music Journalist

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Meet the Founders

Meet the team behind the dream.

Lana Crowster

Amanda Tiffin

Kelly Bell

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