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ARTE VIVA MUSIC  |  Lady Day Big Band

SELECT - LDBB in RED 2018 2.jpeg

Image: Paige Fiddes


South Africa  |  Jazz, Afro-Pop & Jazz, Big Band & World


The Lady Day Big Band is South Africa’s first all-women professional big band, founded by the dynamic trio of Lana Crowster,  Amanda Tiffin and Kelly Bell.  With swing, sass and style, these ladies certainly live up to the legacy of the illustrious Billy “Lady Day” Holiday, one of the most unforgettable pioneers of 20th century Jazz.


It's a riveting experience to watch them as their repertoire dances through original songs written by members as well as fresh arrangements of Jazz, African tunes, Big Band and World Music, often featuring the powerful vocals of Lana Crowster.  The Lady Day Big Band draws on a roster of some of South Africa's most accomplished and loved women musicians as well as encouraging and including emerging talent.


Founded in 2018 with the aim of fostering social unity and upliftment through music, and in part as a response to the #MeToo movement to create safe spaces for women, the Lady Day Big Band received a thunderous standing ovation after their debut performance and were immediately snapped up for performances at multiple festivals.  They have wowed audiences at, amongst others, the Cape Town International Jazz Festival, the Klein Karoo Nasionale Kunste Fees, the RMB Starlight Classics, and on the nationally syndicated Expresso Morning Show.


The founding trio are music royalty in South Africa, and all have extensive international performing experience.  

Lana Crowster is a vocalist and composer with career highlights including featuring in the first season of The Voice South Africa and being awarded the top prize in The 2021 Mail & Guardian Top 200 Young South Africans category for Arts, Entertainment, Film and Media.  

Amanda Tiffin conducts the Lady Day Big Band.  Also a pianist-vocalist, and an experienced arranger, composer and orchestrator, she heads the Jazz Studies and Jazz Singing Departments at the prestigious South African College of Music, University of Cape Town.

Kelly Bell is a multi-instrumentalist, focusing on trombone, and composer, conductor and arranger.  Strongly influenced by gospel, a career highlight is playing on the Grammy award-winning live DVD, Alive in South Africa, recorded by US gospel group Israel & New Breed.


The Lady Day Big Band are a breathtaking addition to any festival line up, as a fully South African ensemble or embracing international collaborations.  Many of the core performers are music educators and additional opportunities are educational exchanges & workshops.


"LDBB is a tight-knit outfit with impressive soloists."
Gwen Ansell, Music Journalist

'AYO AYO' (Official Music Video) - The Lady Day Big Band

'AYO AYO' (Official Music Video) - The Lady Day Big Band
'AYO AYO' (Official Music Video) - The Lady Day Big Band

'AYO AYO' (Official Music Video) - The Lady Day Big Band

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The Lady Day Big Band - South African Vintage Pop Medley

The Lady Day Big Band - South African Vintage Pop Medley

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  • Cape Talk's Moonstruck - 2022 

  • Summer, Music, Love Festival - 2022  

  • South African National Arts Council Grant awarded for Schools Outreach - 2020

  • RMB Starlight Classics - 2020 

  • Cape Town International Jazz Festival - 2019 

  • Nominated for 2 Kanna Awards at the KKNK Festival - 2019

  • Imagine Awards performance - 2019

  • South African Jazz Educators (SAJE) Conference - 2018

  • The Cape Town Big Band Jazz Festival - 2018 

  • Artscape Jazz Master Series - 2018

  • Espresso Morning Show TV performance - 2018


  • The Lady Day Big Band (2022)



  • Debut album release (2022)


Full Size: 20 piece with 2 vocalists 

  • Conductor

  • Two lead/backing vocals

  • 5 Saxophones (2 altos, 2 tenors, baritone)

  • 4 Trumpets

  • 4 Trombones

  • Piano/keyboards

  • Bass

  • Guitar

  • Drums 

Reduced size: 12 piece with 1 vocalist

  • Conductor

  • One lead vocalist

  • Alto sax

  • Tenor sax

  • Baritone sax

  • 2 Trumpets

  • Trombone

  • Piano/keyboards

  • Bass

  • Guitar

  • Drums

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