About The Band

Founded in 2017, the Music City Big Band's mission is both to keep the tradition of big band jazz alive in the heart of Music City, Nashville, Tennessee, but also to showcase bright young talent in jazz musicians and composers who live and work in Nashville. After a successful debut, Music City Big Band was awarded the 2018 Nashville Independent Music Award for Best Jazz Group.

The musicians who have played with Music City Big Band represent many races, genders, and backgrounds, and have performed with many big-name artists, both live and in the studio. These top-notch, world-class musicians bring exciting jazz to their audiences, both classics of the big band era, and contemporary jazz by up-and-coming new composers and arrangers.

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About The Band

Founded in 2017, the Music City Big Band's mission is both to keep the tradition of big band jazz alive in the heart of Music City, Nashville, Tennessee, but also to showcase bright, young, diverse talent in jazz musicians and composers who live and work in Nashville. After a successful debut, Music City Big Band was awarded the 2018 Nashville Independent Music Award for Best Jazz Group.

The musicians who have played with Music City Big Band represent many races, genders, and backgrounds, and have performed with many big-name artists, both live and in the studio. These top-notch, world-class musicians bring exciting jazz to their audiences, both classics of the big band era, and contemporary jazz by up-and-coming new composers and arrangers.

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Casey Brefka

Founder/Musical Director

 

Casey Brefka - originally from Hudson, OH; now residing in Nashville TN - is a contemporary jazz trumpet player, composer, arranger, and teacher. He currently plays trumpet for the Chris Weaver Band (a rock/Americana band), Hey, Listen! (a jazz/funk video game cover band), The Willies (a trad-jazz dixieland style band), and is the musical director and front man for the Music City Big Band, an 18-piece big band in Nashville playing contemporary jazz music and featuring Nashville's finest jazz musicians.

 

Casey started playing trumpet at the age of seven after seeing a Maynard Ferguson concert with his father. Growing up, he was surrounded by big band jazz, from the likes of Count Basie, Maynard, Buddy Rich, and Benny Goodman, and also horn bands like Chicago, Chase, Earth Wind & Fire, and Blood Sweat & Tears. His love for large ensemble jazz carried all the way through high school, where he played not only in his school's jazz band, but in the Cuyahoga Community College High School All-Stars Band, the Settlement Youth Jazz Orchestra at Case Western Reserve, and the Ohio All-State Jazz Band.

 

After a distinguished high school career, Casey earned a full scholarship to Berklee College of Music, where he graduated in 2008 with a degree in Jazz Composition. In his final year, Casey was the recipient of the Toshiko Akiyoshi award for Jazz Composition. After a few brief stints on the road with the Artie Shaw Orchestra, he earned his Master's degree in Jazz Studies from New England Conservatory of Music in 2012 and spent a year on the faculty of Berklee College of Music, serving as an Assistant Professor of Contemporary Writing and Production. He then relocated to Nashville in the fall of 2015. Casey has performed with such jazz greats as McCoy Tyner, Maria Schneider, Phil Wilson, Greg Hopkins, and new voices in jazz such as Omar Thomas, Dynamo, and others.

 

Upon moving to Nashville, Casey finally had the opportunity to realize a goal that he had had since he was in undergrad at Berklee College of Music - starting his own professional big band. And so Music City Big Band was born in spring of 2017.

 

In addition to his regular work with MCBB, Casey freelances regularly in the area (trumpet, trombone, arranger) and instructs the after-school jazz band at Siegel High School in Murfreesboro, TN. He is an executive board member of the American Federation of Musicians Local 257.