Leon Jordan's Continentals is a big band that, for more than fifty years has played a wide variety of engagements, including such places as Asheville, N.C. in the west to, the N.C. coast in the east, Savannah, Georgia in the south and Washington, D.C. in the north. On one special occasion the band played engagements in and near Hull, England.
Whether for the Lord Mayor of Hull, England, U.S. Senators, North Carolina Governors, charities, Bob Hope celebrity shows, collegiate events, country clubs, dance clubs, happy brides and grooms, inaugural balls, etc., Leon Jordan's Continentals play music of the great Big Bands. They play what dancers and listeners want to hear, music from notable bands such as:
Jimmy and Tommy Dorsey
and more current arrangements from today's swing band leaders
Music selections number over a thousand from 1914-2010s.
The Continentals Dance Band was first organized in 1957 as a sixteen piece orchestra. Leon had just been discharged from the Navy, and he and other musicians in the Raleigh area were looking for an opportunity to play dance music. The band's first engagement was playing for the Miss Raleigh pageant in 1958. Soon afterward they were playing for college dances at N.C. State, Duke and UNC. Many of the early musicians were college students and members of the National Guard Band. The band quickly grew in popularity because they played dance music while other bands in the area played jazz.
One of the first musicians in the band and one who helped start the band was drummer Bobby Harrison. After playing with the Continentals, Harrison went on the road with Frank Sinatra, Jr. and then Si Zentnor and Juliet Prowse. He now plays in Los Vegas. Other well-known musicians who have played with the band more recently are saxophonist Kirby Campbell, at one time the busiest studio musician in New York City, and Bob Havens who was the featured trombonist on the Lawrence Welk show for its entire twenty-two year run. The Continentals Band is best-known for having played more than five hundred Saturday night engagements at the Radisson Governors Inn in Research Triangle Park, N.C.
The Band's vocalist is Stephie Goode, who was educated at the Indiana University School of Music and studied under the great Eugene Bayless.
The Continentals Orchestra plays a variety of music — Latin, swing, mambo, rumba, waltzes, some beach and country, ballads, vocals, 30's–2010's — popular and contemporary. The orchestra seeks to play the styles of music that customers prefer and will also adapt to the preference of the dancers. We play danceable music and swing music as revived by Linda Rondstat, Harry Connick Jr., Michael Buble, Diana Krall & Rod Stewart.
A break-out jazz combo is available for smaller and/or more intimate events.
In addition to Raleigh, Leon Jordan and the Continentals will also travel to Garner, Cary, Knightdale, Apex, Morrisville, Durham, Rolesville, Wendell, Clayton, Fuquay Varina, Holly Springs, Wake Forest, Willow Spring, New Hill, Zebulon, Youngsville, Angier, Creedmoor, Chapel Hill, Franklinton, Middlesex, Northside, Smithfield, Butner, Coats, Selma, Carrboro, Benson, Moncure, Four Oaks
and many other locations in and around the Raleigh area.
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