WMSE’s Big Band Grandstand with Dewey Gill returns to the Turner Hall Ballroom

Chicago Jazz Orchestra Celebrates Local Legend Woody Herman

WMSE’s Big Band Grandstand returns to the Turner Hall Ballroom on Sunday, Dec. 12 at 4 p.m. Now in its 7th year, this event has become a holiday tradition that’s fun for the whole family. The Big Band Grandstand is presented annually by Bob and Jenny Hillis in honor of Bob and Genie Friedman.

The evening kicks off when WMSE DJ Dewey Gill – the man himself – welcomes guests with a special hand-selected DJ set. The Chicago Jazz Orchestra then takes the stage with a special salute to Woody Herman, a local jazz legend.

Over the course of a career that lasted half a century, Herman led a succession of ensembles – generally calling each one his ”Thundering Herd” – in a wide spectrum of popular music from blues to bop to rock and beyond. The songs most closely associated with Herman include ”Woodchoppers’ Ball,” ”I’ve Got the World on a String,” ”Apple Honey,” ”Summer Sequence,” ”Four Brothers,” ”Caldonia” and the group’s theme song, ”Blue Flame.” Herman conducted the band, played clarinet and saxophone, and sang in a light baritone voice that was warm and musical and slightly bluesy.

There also will be a silent auction that will go live online two weeks prior to the event and includes exciting items like a Green Bay Packers vs. Minnesota Vikings ticket package. Monies raised from the Big Band Grandstand will support the upkeep of WMSE’s studios, and the digitization and streaming of the station’s jazz library, allowing music fans everywhere the ability to hear jazz 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

“Big Band Grandstand is the visually and sonically stunning event of the year. We couldn’t be more excited to continue our mission especially by celebrating hometown legend Woody Herman. WMSE will continue to be your home for jazz in Milwaukee,” said Tom Crawford, WMSE station manager. “With Tuesday morning’s ‘Free Jazz Barbeque’ with Dr. Sushi, ‘Sunday’s Big Band Show’ with Dewey Gill, and our 24/7 jazz stream, we’ve got you covered.”

Grab your best guy or doll (fancy dress is encouraged) and come on down to the Turner Hall on Sunday, Dec. 12 at 4 p.m. for a big band night of fun. Tickets are on sale now at

or call 414.286.3663. 

Thank you to Great Lakes DistilleryTicket King,  Third Space Brewing, Belle Fiori and Direct Supply for supporting the WMSE Big Band Grandstand with Dewey Gill.

Covid Protocol for Pabst Events:

  • Valid proof of full vaccination for all guests over 12 years of age (final dose must be at least 14 days prior to event)    


  • Valid proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of the show for all guests over 12 years of age
  • Guests under 12 years of age are not required to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test, but are required to wear masks.
  • Masks are encouraged for all guests, but not required unless under 12 years of age