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Brian Setzer Orchestra

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Title: Brian Setzer Orchestra  
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Subject: Stray Cats, MTV Video Music Award, KROQ Almost Acoustic Christmas, Jingle Bells, Grammy Award for Best Pop Vocal Album, Australian rock, Cherry Poppin' Daddies, Swing revival, Me, Myself & Irene, Baritone guitar
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Brian Setzer Orchestra

The Brian Setzer Orchestra
The Brian Setzer Orchestra playing in the East Room of the White House.
Background information
Also known as BSO
Origin United States
Genres Swing revival, jump blues, rockabilly, rock and roll
Years active 1990–present
Labels Interscope, Hollywood Records, Surfdog Records
Associated acts The Tomcats, The Stray Cats, Brian Setzer and The Nashvillains
  • Official website

The Brian Setzer Orchestra (sometimes known by its initials BSO) is a swing and jump blues band formed in 1990 by Stray Cats frontman Brian Setzer. The group covered Louis Prima's "Jump Jive an' Wail", which appeared on Prima's 1957 album The Wildest!. The BSO's follow up single was "Gettin' In the Mood."


In 1990, Setzer organized the orchestra, styled as a big band which included full sections of trumpet, trombone and saxophone players, and a rhythm section with Setzer on guitar and vocals, plus piano, string bass and drums. The orchestra began playing clubs in and around Los Angeles, USA and was eventually signed to Hollywood Records.

The group released its first two albums in 1994 and 1996. There had been a change of labels, to Interscope Records. The band also had a slight change in orchestration, dropping the piano player. They were followed by The Dirty Boogie (1998), a mix of Setzer-penned originals and covers of swing standards. The orchestra then embarked on several U.S. and world tours.

The album Vavoom! followed, then in the early 2000s two albums of Christmas music and several supporting tours. The orchestra added two backing vocalists, one of whom, Julie Reiten, eventually became Setzer's wife.

Setzer persuaded Frank Comstock, who had made an arrangement of "The Nutcracker Suite" on one of the Christmas albums and then retired, to create arrangements for Setzer's 2007 album, Wolfgang's Big Night Out. The orchestra cancelled its 2008 Christmas tour but went back on the road in 2009.

In 2009 the orchestra released a new album titled Songs from Lonely Avenue. This was the first album to feature all original songs written by Setzer. Frank Comstock also worked on horn and string arrangements for the album.


Besides Setzer, the rhythm section is anchored by drummer Tony Pia and bassist Johnny Hatton. During live concert performances, Setzer often dismisses the horn players and plays a set of rockabilly using just this trio, in the manner of the Stray Cats.

The woodwind and brass players have had some turnover over the years; members have included bass trombonist Robbie Hioki, sax player Vincent Trombetta, and trumpeter Kevin Richardson. The two female backup singers are referred to as the Vixens.


As of 2013:

  • Brian Setzer (main leader)
  • Tim Messina (tenor sax, clarinet)
  • Eric Morones (alto sax, clarinet, flute)
  • Matt Zebley (alto sax, clarinet, flute)
  • Jim Youngstrom (tenor sax, bass clarinet)
  • Charlie Peterson (baritone sax, clarinet)
  • Steve Reid (trumpet)
  • Jamie Hovorka (trumpet)
  • Sean Billings (trumpet)
  • Brian Scanlon (trumpet)
  • Kevin Norton (trumpet)
  • Jason Thor (trombone)
  • Jeremy Levy (trombone)
  • Kerry Loeschen (trombone)
  • Robbie Hioki (bass trombone)
  • Francisco Torres (trombone)
  • Johnny Hatton (bass)
  • Tony Pia (drums, percussion)
  • Julie Reiten (vocals)
  • Janick Lafreniere (piano)
  • Leslie Spencer (vocals)
  • James Gerber (berimbau)
  • Danny Glass (drums, percussion)

Former members

  • Bernie Dresel (drums, percussion)
  • Mark Winchester (bass)
  • Joie Shettler (vocals)
  • Beth Curry (vocals)
  • Sara Mann (vocals)
  • Kye Palmer (trumpet)
  • Willie Murillo (trumpet)
  • Charlie Biggs (trumpet)
  • Claude Cailliet (trombone)


The BSO often plays during the December holidays covering Christmas songs, and plays the Rockefeller Center tree-lighting ceremony. Setzer tunes have been used in commercials.


Brian Setzer Orchestra

  • Summer Tour '97
  • The Dirty Boogie Summer Tour '98
  • The Dirty Boogie Fall Tour '98
  • Let's Live It Up World 1999 Tour
  • Here I Go Again Draggin' 16 Guys Around The World Tour
  • Japan Tour 2002
  • Japan Tour 2003
  • Winter Christmas Tour 2003
  • Japan Tour 2004
  • Winter Christmas Tour 2005
  • Winter Christmas Tour 2006
  • Winter Christmas Tour 2007
  • Japan Tour 2009
  • Winter Christmas Tour 2009

The Nashvillains

  • Rockabilly Riot European Tour 2005
  • Japan Tour 2006



Studio albums

Compilations and live albums

Live DVDs

  • Brian Setzer Orchestra live In Japan (2001)
  • Brian Setzer Orchestra Live: Christmas Extravaganza (2005)
  • One Rockin' Night (2007) - Recorded in Montreal, 1995


External links

  • Official website
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