Eastwood Productions



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A Brief History of Eastwood Productions

Back in 1979 Norman Daoust decided he could do it better. Having playing bass in various big bands in the Boston area after moving to Cambridge, MA in 1976 from Pittsfield, he knew he could assemble a better repertoire and better caliber of musicians and be better organized than the others. He sent out letters and made numerous phone calls and the unnamed sixteen-piece big band began rehearsals in a hall in Westwood, MA. We needed a name for the band to include on our business card. No one would go to hear the Westwood Big Band, so we became the Eastwood Big Band.

After a break of several months, several of the musicians called about reforming. We secured a downtown Boston rehearsal location, Studio Red Top, and a new big band was reconstituted. After a few months of rehearsals, one of the band members heard of a new jazz club that had just opened and booked the band. Norman contacted Skye, a vocalist he had worked with on occasions since 1975, to come to a rehearsal and sing the band’s vocal arrangements. The band was thrilled with her singing, so Skye joined to make the Downtown Jazz Orchestra an 18-piece big band. Can you see a pattern: naming the band after the rehearsal location?

The city of Boston inquired if the Downtown Jazz Orchestra was available for a weekday concert series at Boston City Hall Plaza? The logistical and financial details made an eighteen-piece band out of the question, so the eight-piece Eastwood Swing Orchestra had its debut at a weeklong lunchtime concert series at Boston City Hall Plaza in August of 1983.

An Eastwood Swing Orchestra client also needed a classical music ensemble for their wedding ceremony at the Endicott Estate in Dedham. Dave Cross, the saxophonist for the Eastwood Swing Orchestra, mentioned his previously unnamed woodwind quintet as an option. The Eastwood Wind Quintet was born in 1986.

Norman received a call from Las Vegas. It was Wayne Newton’s road manager wanting to know if we could assemble a nine-piece contingent of Boston-based musicians to accompany their ten-piece touring band? It turned out that Wayne was late for the dress rehearsal, flying in from Syracuse, NY, so they rehearsed for about thirty minutes and took a break. Don Vincent, Wayne’s long-time conductor, suggested that the local contingent could go have dinner: they were good enough to sight-read the music so there was no need to rehearse any more before the show that evening. This was the beginning of assembling orchestras to accompany internationally recognized entertainers that also included Mickey Rooney, Donald O’Connor, and Carol Channing in their appearances at the Collins Center in Andover, MA from 1988 to 1989.

That’s how we’ve evolved: in response to a request from a client for something we could deliver while still meeting our high standards for quality and service.

This is an abbreviated version of the Eastwood Productions story. We hope you enjoyed it.

Copyright © 2003 Eastwood Productions