Put a bunch of judges, lawyers, law students and legal staff in the same room and what have you got?
Lively, upbeat, toe-tappin’ music.
“It’s fun,” explained Gary Greene, an attorney of more than 40 years and founder and conductor of the Big Band of Barristers who turned up the heat Thursday night as Big Band swing music filled the air inside the South Pasadena Library Community Room. Among the classics were “Stompin’ At the Savoy,” “In the Mood,” and “Blue Moon” to a energy-packed, concert-ending “New York, New York.”
Adding significantly to the legal flavor were four performers in front of the band known simply as “The Singers in Law.”
Indeed, as Greene explained, “it’s a unique kind of group,” talking about the Big Band Barristers put together about six years ago that performs Golden Era favorites before appreciative crowds. It came together as an adjunct to the 75-member Los Angeles Lawyers Philharmonic and the 100-member chorus, Legal Voices that he also created.
In a short time, Greene says the Big Band Barristers have become “America’s No. 1 legal band.”
In a program for a 2017 event featuring actor/comedian Dick Van Dyke, the mission of the musical groups are to “bring together the legal community in harmony, perform concerts, raise funds for organizations that provide legal services for those who cannot afford them, as well as other charitable causes and civic events.” The Diabetes Association, Salvation Army, Shriners Hospitals and the City of Hope are among the causes that have received support over the years.
For many in the Big Band Barristers it’s a change of pace from the intense work of the legal world, and includes courtroom attorneys. “We need some type of refreshing opportunity, and that’s what the band provides,” explained Greene. “For all of us, performing like this is our passion.”
Many in the group have attended various renowned music institutions from Julliard to the New England Conservatory. Some have professional music backgrounds, while others performed in their youth and are just now dusting off musical instruments to be part of the fun. Among those entertaining audience members at Thursday’s event was local South Pasadena resident Joel Osman on bass trombone.
For more information and future concert information, contact: LA Lawyers, Philharmonic, Legal Voices & Big Band of Barristers, 287 South Robertson Blvd., #499, Beverly Hills, CA, 90211 or call (323) 525-1800.