Featuring the music of the Great American Songbook played in the style of the great bands of the Big Band Era of the 1930s, 40s, and 1950s.
The Smart Set Band
Leader: Robert Dreifort
The Smart Set Band has been around for over forty years. It was founded by its leader, Bob Dreifort, and inspired by his musical mentor Ernie Bacon. Ernie was a veteran of the big band era, having played with and arranged for bands in the Cleveland area and nationally. After studying trumpet with Ernie, Bob needed experience playing with others. Ernie assembled a group of students from the Currier-Chaikin music school in Cleveland Heights and wrote some arrangements for them to play. They first met in Bob’s Cleveland Heights home in the early 1970′s and went on to become the Smart Set Band. Over the years more than 100 musicians of all ages have played with the Smart Set Band. Some started as Junior High School or High School students and have gone on to become successful professional musicians. Others have joined the group to refresh musical skills first gained in school or military bands. Some have taken up music late in life and need an opportunity to play with others just as Bob did over 30 years ago. All of the band members participate because they love the music and want to preserve it for future generations.
Bob Dreifort, leader of the Smart Set Band grew up under the influence of the big band era. As a child during the 1940s he would listen to the old 78rpm records that his family owned and to the popular music shows and big band remotes on the radio. Most of the money from his paper route went to the purchase of phonograph records including those of the big bands. His particular favorite was Glenn Miller. At an early age Bob vowed to someday own every record that Glenn Miller had made. Having almost met that goal, his interests have spread to the entire spectrum of big band music and musicians of the 20th Century with a primary focus on the big band era of the 1930s and 40s.
It was his interest in the music that led Bob, at a relatively mature age of 28 years, to take up the trumpet. After starting the Smart Set Band, he quickly realized that a substantial library of band arrangements or charts would be needed. That began his lifelong search for big band arrangements that now is a collection of almost 1000 tunes. Many of these are big band stock arrangements published at the time the tunes were popular. Others are duplications or transcriptions of tunes exactly as played by the popular big bands of the past and present.
The Smart Set Band meets for rehearsals every Tuesday at the Beachwood, Ohio home of its leader, Bob Dreifort. Most members of the group are primarily interested in developing or maintaining their musical skills, while enjoying the type of music represented in Bob’s collection of big band charts. Some members also play with other bands in the Cleveland area. Any musician, regardless of his or her level of band experience, with an interest in big band music, wishing to participate in the Smart Set Band should contact Bob at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Another goal of the Smart Set Band is to share our music with audiences in our community. To achieve that goal, the band plays out at senior living centers, community organizations and other venues where the music of the big band era is remembered and loved. Organizations wishing a big band at their event should contact Bob at: email@example.com.
Featuring the music of the Great American Songbook played in the style of the great bands of the big band era of the 1930s, 40s and 50s.