Neil Maya: band leader and saxophonist with the Drat Pack for Tea Dance with a twist
I have had the pleasure of being band leader and saxophonist with the Drat Pack www.thedratpack.co.uk for these wonderful tea dances.
My role as band leader is to liaise with Plymouth Dance to provide the most appropriate live music for the tea dances from the Drat Pack. Generally we find a mix of older styles such as foxtrots, quicksteps, waltzes and cha cha chas alongside some modern pop as well as soul and motown appeals to the broad cross section of society that comes to these dances. The Drat Pack currently works with 4 different singers on this project so I also have to liaise with the singers to make sure we can all provide the right material for the dances. My role as saxophonist is a lot more straight forward for me in that I just have to make sure I know the tunes and horn lines for all the tunes we are doing and then play well!
We’ve all loved working for the tea dances. It has given us exposure that we wouldn’t otherwise have had, allowed us to play music we wouldn’t necessarily have played normally, work with different singers, experience some lovely dancing and meet lovely people from all walks of life. It does of course also allow us to work as musicians which is what we all love doing.
Neil Maya www.neilmaya.co.uk