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The Difficult Run Jazz Band (DRJB) has been performing in the Washington DC Metro area for nearly 30 years. The ensemble includes many of the area's top musicians, dedicated to preserving the sounds of the Swing Era, while presenting the unique, high-energy style embodied in contemporary Big Band jazz.

"Difficult Run": In music, an intricate passage. creek falls In Northern Virginia, the Difficult Run is a 14-mile stream forming the largest watershed in Fairfax County. Modulating from a gentle, winding creek, it reaches a crescendo near the Potomac River, tumbling over huge boulders and echoing against high rock ledges, as it swirls and foams into the river at Great Falls Park. Hence, an apt name for this exciting jazz ensemble.

The Early Years: The DRJB began informally nearly 30 years ago to play big band jazz and swing arrangements, written by its founder and conductor, Gordon Ramsey. In January 1983, the DRJB became affiliated with the Northern Virginia Community College, attaining lab band status as "Music 149," meeting each Saturday morning at the Sterling Campus.

During the next 15 years, Professor Ramsey arranged and scored more than 140 charts for the band, influenced by the high-energy compositions made famous by such bands as Stan Kenton, Buddy Rich, Bob Florence, and Matt Catingub. The growing library also featured the more familiar works of Miller, Ellington, and Basie.

The DRJB supported the local community, playing a variety of outdoor concerts and benefit performances, from Northern Virginia town centers to the White House lawn. The magical atmosphere that Gordon created for this unique ensemble became a magnet, drawing and retaining some of the area's finest musicians to the DRJB ranks.

DRJB Today: The band continues to concentrate on expanding its repertoire, widening its exposure, and enhancing its ability to support a wide variety of venues, including concerts, swing dances, weddings, and corporate functions.

Featuring 5 saxes, 4 trumpets, 4 trombones, full rhythm section and vocalists, the DRJB boasts a continuing membership of some of the finest players in the area.
The band continues its Saturday morning rehearsal regimen. Interested parties may arrange to attend a rehearsal by contacting our general manager.

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