Down for the Count Orchestra's 2023 tour: Voices of Swing

Published: 24 Jan 2023

Down for the Count are delighted to announce the next tour of our 30-piece OrchestraVoices of Swing will be coming to concert halls in England, Wales and Scotland in April and May 2023.

This tour is by far our most ambitious to date as we travel to new locations and venues up and down the UK.

The show centres around our 30-piece Orchestra - a 9-horn and rhythm section “mini big band” with strings and vocalists, conducted by Mike Paul-Smith. The Orchestra’s show features classics from the Capitol Studios era - so expect to hear arrangements written by Nelson Riddle for Frank Sinatra and Nat ‘King’ Cole, alongside hits from Judy Garland, Ella Fitzgerald and many more.

The show also explores other ways that strings enhance big band and jazz music - so you can expect to hear hits from the Tommy Dorsey band such as On The Sunny Side of the Street, transcriptions from the Charlie Parker with Strings albums, violin solos from the Nat ‘King’ Cole After Midnight album and also some special violin features written by the grandparent of one of our musicians.

Finally you’ll hear original arrangements of jazz standards written by two of our own - our conductor Mike Paul-Smith and our trumpeter and arranger Simon Joyner. Some of those arrangements feature on our latest studio album At The Cold Stores, which you can listen to or purchase here.

Conductor Mike Paul-Smith conducting the Down for the Count Orchestra at Cadogan Hall, London, featuring violinist Rose Hinton

Mike conducting the Orchestra at Cadogan Hall in 2022

The Voices of Swing tour begins in Scotland where, for the first time, our Orchestra will be performing at Eastwood Park Theatre (Giffnock, near Glasgow) and then the The Tivoli Theatre in Aberdeen, before returning to The Queen’s Hall in Edinburgh - where we performed to a virtually sold-out audience on our 2022 Christmas tour. 

After that we head south into England, enjoying the sights of the Lake District (where we’ll be performing at The Coro in Ulverston) and then the beautiful surroundings of St. George’s Hall Concert Room in Liverpool and The Stoller Hall in Manchester - both of which we sold out in Christmas 2022.

Down for the Count Orchestra conducted by Mike Paul-Smith at The Concert Room, St. George's Hall, Liverpool in December 2022

The Concert Room at St. George’s Hall, Liverpool - described by Charles Dickens as “the most perfect room in the world”

We’ll then be heading to another three venues which are very familiar to the Orchestra - The Halls in Norwich, West Road Concert Hall in Cambridge and then the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire

The week after that, we’re enormously excited to take the Orchestra to some new locations. On Tuesday 2 May we will be heading to Bristol for the first time ever with our Orchestra, performing at St. George’s Bristol - a venue we’ve wanted to perform at for years.

St. George's Bristol

St. George’s Bristol, where our Orchestra will be performing for the first time on Tuesday 2 May 2023

Then the next day we have another first - our first ever public performance, either as our Orchestra or All-Stars line-up, in Wales. We’ll be at The Brangwyn Hall, performing on the same stage used by the BBC National Orchestra of Wales and many others.

Then it’s down to Exeter for a long overdue return to the Northcott Theatre, and back to Oxford for another visit to the beautiful Olivier Hall in the grounds of St. Edward’s School. 

All the above takes place over the course of 15 action-packed days - so you may not be surprised to hear that we’ll then be taking a few days off to recharge our batteries!

However we won’t be resting for long, because the next weekend sees 4 shows - one each at The Royal Hippodrome in Eastbourne and Cadogan Hall in London, and 2 shows in one day at Turner Sims in Southampton.

We’re particularly excited to be returning to Cadogan Hall, which is starting to feel like our second home after we sold it out at Christmas. We’d love to see another packed house this time round!

The Down for the Count Orchestra performing to a sold out Cadogan Hall in London, December 2022

Our sold-out Swing Into Christmas show at Cadogan Hall on Wednesday 28 December 2022

You may also like to know that the Cadogan Hall show is part of a “series” - we’ll be back at the hall on Sunday 10 September and then for our Christmas show on Thursday 28 December. You get great discounts when booking two or three shows at the same time - head to the Cadogan Hall website to find out more. 

After that we just have two shows left - at The Colyer-Fergusson Hall in Canterbury, and Cheltenham Town Hall

The tour is covering a wider geographical area than any of our previous tours (going further north and further west even than our Christmas tour!) so we hope that there will be a show near you that you can come along to. 

Finally, if you’ve read this far you might like to know that planning for our Christmas tour is well under way. We’re incredibly excited to announce that the Swing Into Christmas tour in 2023 will be heading to one of the largest concert halls in the country - Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, where 2,475 people will be able to come and enjoy our music.

The Glasgow Royal Concert Hall

The Glasgow Royal Concert Hall - capacity 2,475 - where we’ll be performing in November 2023!

Tickets for all the shows on the Voices of Swing tour are available now, along with many of the shows on the Swing Into Christmas tour - head over to our live dates page and follow the links to buy tickets.


About the author

Mike Paul-Smith

Mike Paul-Smith has over 18 years experience in delivering bespoke live music and entertainment packages for wedding receptions and corporate events across London, the UK and internationally.

He is the company director, pianist and musical director of Down for the Count.

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