Life’s too short to play music that doesn’t swing! Or sway! (Or swivel!) That’s the unofficial motto of the Tall Granite Big Band. This unique group got its start in 2014 when a handful of Concord-area musicians seized the opportunity to acquire a collection of big band charts assembled over the post-WW2 decades by a Houston trumpeter, music store owner and bandleader, my former neighbor Johnny Dyson. Johnny’s tastes ran to the Swing Era classics by Basie, Miller, Goodman, Ellington, and Herman, et al., with significant excursions into the Blues and Latin sounds characteristic of the Gulf Coast. 


The core of this New Hampshire big band is a handful of players from the small Tall Granite Jazz Band, who years ago began commissioning arrangements from one of Johnny’s band members. Finally these players acquired Johnny’s full big-band music library before his passing, invited all their musical pals to a rehearsal, where we all immediately fell in love with the quality of the music.  Following our Concord debut in late 2014 – where a couple large churches saw dancing in their aisles -- we were booked for monthly dances at Laconia’s Pitman’s Freight Room. The warm and welcoming Freight Room became our home base and a space where we carried out a remarkable collaboration with New Orleans trombone star Delfeayo Marsalis. Our dance life was good until the state entered lockdown in 2020, silencing most live music and putting some venues, including the beloved Freight Room, out of business. We’ve slowly resurfaced as the lockdown was lifted and have returned to public performance at barns, bandstands, wedding tents, and ballrooms around the Granite State!  We hope you enjoy our music.      -- David Dustin, TGBB Founder