Panorama Jazz Band: “Good Music For You”
Of course, a group as globally- minded as the Panorama Jazz Band is from New Orleans; only a city like the Big Easy could birth this cultural conglomerate. The seven-piece band can trace its earliest iterations back to 1995, but they’ve kept with the times, sharing their music with fans through an online, monthly subscription service dubbed “Good Music For You.” It is an apt title: Like a lot of NOLA-based performers, Panorama Jazz Band puts musicianship front-andcenter, regardless of genre. Their swirling blend of clarinet, saxophone, accordion, banjo and sousaphone coalesce on tracks like “Serpent Maigre,” as cymbals and snares splash and snap in the background. Skimming through their singles, the group nods to Jewish klezmer on “Chororo” and French opera on “Je Veux Vivre (‘Juliette’s Waltz’).” The latter tune is amplified by fellow NOLA resident Katherine McClain, who performs vocal somersaults in the 17th century arrieta’s original language. No matter what composition they land on, Panorama Jazz Band reflects the Crescent City’s multiculturalism with plenty of flair. (Bandleader/ clarinetist Ben Schenck not only fronts this outfit, but their Mardi Gras troupe, Panorama Brass Band, as well.) Walking through the French Quarter, you can hear music of all kinds pour out of barrooms and jazz clubs. But in an era where top-40 cover bands can pull big crowds, it’s nice to know that Panorama Jazz Band are out there adding the sounds of Eastern Europe, the Caribbean, Latin America and more to the city’s beautiful cacophony.