The Royal Blue Melodians


In 1987 I was engaged to produce a jazz concert at the huge China Teatern in Stockholm. The idea was to produce such a concert every year in spring. Seven concerts took place until 1993. By experience I know that the word ”jazz” has many facets, meaning different kinds of music for different people. Hence I had to find a word compatible with classic jazz, jazz from the 1930’s. I thought the name "Evergreens” would express the idea and the style. Thus – “Evergreen Concerts” were born.

I didn’t want to produce ”ordinary” concerts where the bands themselves decided what to play, so I hit on the idea of themes by different composers. These were Fats Waller, Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Hoagy Carmichael, George and Ira Gershwin, Irving Berlin, Cole Porter.

I chose the tunes and put together different orchestras to fit each tune. Of course I had several great arrangers such as Claes Brodda and Bent Persson to help me and the bands were of different sizes. I also needed a bigger band for some of the arrangements. By 1990 I experienced that I needed a reliable big band with interested members. Claes Brodda and I started the discussions, we chose members and Claes wrote the arrangements. “The Melodians” grew to be “The Royal Blue Melodians”. The band was initially meant to last only for these concerts but we soon knew that this was too good to fall into oblivion. We finally had a huge book of arrangements from the great American Song Book.

The band kept on playing festivals, tours and concerts, dressed in nice white tuxedos, and has been doing so ever since. When Bent Persson was added to the orchestra, it was only natural that he brought with him some of Louis Armstrong’s big band arrangements as well as many of his own.
The Royal Blue Melodians have two different “books” to offer: “Evergeens” and “The Louis Armstrong Song Book” or a mix of both. These are manifested in two CDs “Evergreens” and “For The Love Of Satchmo”.    
Gösta Hägglöf