In 1984 a euphoric “bunch” of young musicians from Scharnstein – all active in the two local music clubs – decided to found a BIG BAND. Equipped with about 15 kilos of sheet music, a total of 845.74 kilos of “living musicians” began to approach the genre of BIG BAND JAZZ. Driven by the indefatigable enthusiast HERMANN MIESBAUER, the bunch soon increased in number and after a short rehearsal period was able to deliver the first public performance – or rather musical shock – on the occasion of a members’ celebration of the local music in the club’s main inn.
An obviously severely tormented old brass musician said at the time: “Spüts liaba in KOARL-MARSCH, des is gscheida”. Undaunted by such lack of understanding on the part of some contemporaries, the RAT BIG BAND established itself in the circle of Austrian jazz ensembles and in the years that followed was able to hold its own with performances outside the country as well: Salzburg, Vienna, Munich, Graz were only some of the numerous stations. The RAT BIG BAND got the “KICK” from 1992 on – through the cooperation with international jazz greats the former “wild bunch” became a band with “BITE and STYLE”.
The Afro-American vocalist JAN HARRINGTON was the main attraction of a concert tour in 1994/1995. Peter Herbolzheimer and his RC&B were an incomparable “coach guild” for the RAT musicians as workshop teachers – in 1996 there was even a joint performance. For several years we ourselves organized the concert series “BIG BAND FEZZIVAL” with international guests – in 1996 with a big band from RUSSIA, in 1999 and 2002 with the LUNGAU BIG BAND (whose guests included Lynne Kieran, Bobby Shew) and in 2002 we were able to make music together with BILL RAMSEY.
Today, after 30 years of joint BIG BAND work, the fun and enthusiasm is as great as in the beginning. The “touch of wildness” attested by a jazz critic still accompanies the band – an enthusiasm and joy of playing proverbially “to attack”.
The RAT – BIG BAND plays in the classic big band formation + vocalist – as a CONCERT ORCHESTRA and as a DANCE ORCHESTRA.