For over 15 years, Grant led a Monday Night Big Band that was a fixture on the Phoenix jazz scene. Grant started the band as a weekly rehearsal band at M.C.C.. The Night Band soon moved out into public performances, playing a weekly Monday Night gig at The Varsity Inn, where the sax section sat on empty beer kegs. Grant's big band was first known simply as "The Night Band." In the early 80s, the band was rechristened as the "Valley Big Band". The band played at several other clubs before settling in at Chuy's Choo Choo in the late 70s, where Grant and the gang held forth on Monday nights for many years. Grant's Monday Night Band gave adult musicians a chance to perform every week alongside students from the local colleges. The musicians did not get paid, but played for the love of the music, and of course, the free beer! Monday nights at Chuy's were the place to be! On a typical Monday night, Grant would rehearse the band through some new charts during the first set. After the break, the band would play the tunes straight down. The Valley Big Band played at the 2nd edition of the Chuy's club, and they also played regularly at The L.P. Club in the 80s.
SCROLL DOWN to the bottom of the page to read the very excellent Valley Big Band News Article by Paul Cantrell from 1982 or '83. Grant is interviewed extensively. Paul Cantrell wrote music articles for the New Times paper during the 1980's.
Audio Clips of the Night Band coming soon...
Grant leads the Night Band through a set in Sedona.
L-R: Armand Boatman, Grant Wolf (standing), George Voigt, Russ Barnard, Craig Render, Denny Marcum (behind Bill's hat), Bill Lieske,
Steve Marsh (standing), Fred Forney, Frank Darmiento, Rod Larkin, Chuck Hittmar, Wes Marshall (behind Chuck), Neil Erdman, Fred Boyd.
Valley Big Band plays a formal gig.
L-R: Ted Goddard's guitar, Denny Marcum, Dr. George Voigt, Fred Forney, Craig Render, Chuck Jenkins, Grant Wolf, Frank Darmiento,
Bill Lieske, John Wise, Steve Marsh, Jerry Linderman, Fred Boyd,Chuck Hittmar.
Grant directing the Monday Night Band at Chuy's.
Saxes: (L-R) Bill Lieske, Steve Marsh, Lori Mock Robinson. Bones: (L-R) John Wise, Fred Boyd.
Dennis Rowland sits in with The Valley Big Band at Chuy's.
Back Row L-R: James Kass, Bill Blackwell, Chris Eble, Jerry Linderman.
Bones L-R: John Wise, Frank Darmiento, Chuck Jenkins, Doug Robinson.
Front L-R: Bill Lieske, Dennis Rowland, Chuck Hittmar.
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AUDIO PAGE 1 AUDIO PAGE 2 AUDIO PAGE 3 AUDIO PAGE 4 VALLEY BIG BAND PAGE
PHOTOS PAGE PHOTOS PAGE 2 PHOTOS FROM 1975-76 TRIBUTE CONCERT PHOTOS