Who we are
We are a group of instrumentalists - and a couple of vocalists - who love swing music. We come from many different walks of life and musical backgrounds; while some of our members played in a jazz band in high school or college, others are new to the genre. We have amateur and professional musicians who are devoted to honing performance skills such as solo and improvisation that aren't used as much in other types of ensembles. And we enjoy playing in a smaller, close-knit group that works hard to develop a great ensemble sound.
Because we perform with standard big band instrumentation, we are an auditioned group - unlike any of the other ensembles in Rainbow City Performing Arts. We have a group of very important alternates, who rehearse as an integral part of the band and learn all of the parts for their instrument so that they are ready to step in when needed for a gig; as volunteers, sometimes work or family obligations interfere with performance schedules and we strive for a balance between flexibility and consistent, professional performances.
What we do
We bring the great songs of the swing era to life, from instrumental swing of the late '20s to vocal hits from the famous big bands of the postwar era and beyond. We play a wide variety of gigs, from jazz club and dance hall entertainment to corporate events and fundraisers to outdoor summer concert series. We've played at wedding receptions, held a Valentine's Day dance, rung in the New Year with music and dancing, and played concerts in local theaters.
More than making music, though, we love to bring people to their feet and onto the dance floor. Whether our audience is a group of expert Lindy Hoppers or couples just struggling to stay off each others' toes, we're happiest when people are caught up in the joy of dancing.
Are you ready to dance? Book us for your next occasion!
Purple Passion has its roots early in the history of Rainbow City Band, when members sought opportunities to perform and bring both music and visibility to venues where a full concert band wouldn't fit - and playing new styles of music. The idea of a subgroup with standard big band instrumentation (saxophones, trumpets, trombones, and a rhythm section) took hold, and Purple Passion Swing Band held its first "Big Bad Dance" in October 2002 at the Russian Center in Seattle.
After several joint concerts with Rainbow City Band, the we began to perform at other events around the Seattle area, such as several National Train Day gigs at Seattle's King Street Station, fundraising and recognition events for area non-profits, and outdoor summer concerts. As our schedule became busier, the requirement to be a member of the concert band to play in Purple Passion was eliminated, and we became an independent ensemble in the Rainbow City family with an independently selected Music Director. We added formal alternates to our roster of members to improve our flexibility and to allow us to commit to more gigs. And we've acquired equipment and become efficient at putting on a gig in a wide variety of venues, from jazz clubs to banquet halls to auditoriums.
We continue to expand our audience, and look forward to seeing you at a performance soon!