St. Paul to host BIG Band from Sweden

THORNDALE—The BIG Big Band From Sweden is coming to Thorndale as part of its ninth U.S. tour. The 63-person band will appear at 7 p.m. Wednesday, July 11 at St. Paul Lutheran. The group’s entire July 6-23 U.S. tour will take place in Texas.

Rev. Jim Mann, St. Paul pastor, invites the Thorndale community and surrounding area to the concert, saying the “big band sound” will appeal to young and old.

A free-will offering will be taken to benefit Shepherd’s Canyon Retreat ministry (

The BIG Big Band From Sweden includes young people in their late teens to members who have played in the band 40-plus years. Band members come from several small villages in the Southern province of Sweden called Skåne, the province closest to Denmark.

The band includes teachers, doctors, engineers, farmers, professors, high school and university students and homemakers.

It was started by Christian music teacher Erik Karp in 1955 to reach neighborhood youth with the Gospel message. For the past 30 years, Erik’s son Ingemar has directed the band.

For 67 years the band has performed all over Scandinavia, northern Europe and America and on Swedish television.

In Sweden the band is known as Röke Blas or Röke Musikkår, and it is the biggest big band in the world. The Swedish word “blås” means “blow” and “musikkår” means “music corp.”

Coming with the band on their 2012 tour is Vincent Nilsson, a band alum now one of the most renown jazz trombonists in the world. He has been featured with Copenhagen’s famed Tivoli Garden’s Big Band and he is a member of the Royal Danish Radio Big Band.

The band’s 2012 Texas tour will include 16 concerts. Band members will be overnight guests in over 400 homes.

For more information, call 512- 898-2711 or 512-269-3843.

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2012-07-05 digital edition

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