Based in Plymouth UK, MSQ is a quartet of musicians who share a passion for swing and jazz and the great American song-book writers. From Gershwin and Porter to Goodman and Ellington to Nat King Cole and Sinatra we play a wide range of music and styles mostly from the swing, jazz and songs of the 30's, 40's & 50's and even the 60's.
Details of our TRIO OPTION are also given below, which is available for smaller venues, events and budgets.
Below you can read something about the musicians and song-writers who have inspired us:
Born in Peru, Indiana in 1891, Cole Porter is considered by many to be America's greatest tunesmith. After a childhood filled with piano and violin lessons, he attended Yale University, and later, Harvard, where he studied law and music.
Porter moved to Paris in the 1920's and soon began scoring hits; his first show was Paris in 1928, which included one of Porter's most memorable tunes, "Let's Do It (Let's Fall in Love)." He returned to New York in 1930 and continued to pen an immense number of songs for the most legendary shows and films of the era, including Kiss Me Kate, The New Yorker, High Society, Night and Day and others.
Porter's tremendous song catalogue remains some of the most performed music to this day, as songs including, "I've Got You Under my SKin", "De-Lovely", "True Love", "Love for Sale", "You're The Top" and "Begin the Beguine" are continually performed by music lovers worldwide. His works became the staple diet of vocalists such as Ella Fitzgerlad and virtually anyone who is anyone in jazz and popular music has recorded atleast some of his songs, if not enitre albums worth!
Born in New York in 1885, Jerome Kern is considered to be the pioneer of modern American musical shows. While his initial successes came in the early 20th Century with songs modeled after the European waltz, he truly broke through (and broke into the history books as well) in 1927 with the musical "Showboat".
As one of the first Broadway shows to integrate music, song and storytelling into one cohesive package, Showboat has since gone on to become one of the most memorable shows in the history of the medium, with songs like "Ol' Man River" and "Can't Help Lovin' Dat Man" still being performed today.
After the advent of sound in film, Kern, like his contemporaries, ventured into this medium as well. He scored several hits, including the Ginger Rogers / Fred Astaire classic Swing Time. Throughout his career Kern wrote or contributed to 37 shows, and had begun work on another classic show, Annie Get Your Gun, when he died in 1945. One of his most remebered songs is, "Smoke Get's In Your Eyes" but he was also the writer of the classic, "Just The Way You Look Tonight".
George & Ira Gershwin
Born in New York, NY in 1889, George Gershwin's career was fatally cut short due to a brain tumor in 1937. Still, in his relatively short life, George Gershwin managed to become one of the most important and prolific songwriters of the 20th Century - as well as a "serious" composer of classical music. George Gershwin's first major hit, featured in the show Sinbad in 1919 was "Swanee."
After 1924, however, he teamed with his brother Ira and the two quickly became one of the most important songwriting duos in history. They scored a series of hit shows in the late 20's and early 30's including Porgy and Bess (the source of the nominal favorite, "Summertime"), An American in Paris, Girl Crazy (home to "I Got Rhythm") Oh, Kay! and many others.
Born in Bloomington, Indiana in 1899, Hoagy Carmichael is considered to be one of the most successful and influential song-writers of all time. Throughout his career, (which included acting in 14 films, forming a jazz group with Art Pepper and penning two autobiographies) Carmichael wrote a multitude of songs that have gone on to be performed by such contemporary artists as Nat King Cole ("Stardust"), Norah Jones ("The Nearness of You"), Ray Charles ("Georgia on My Mind") and others.
Born April 29, 1899 in Washington D.C., Duke Ellington is considered by many to be the single most important composer in the history of Jazz. Furthermore, unlike many influential composers of his era, Ellington was not only also a performer but his band remains a legendary force in jazz. Where many of his contemporaries struggled to find outlets (performers) for their music, Ellington utilized his band to test new material.
Among his most memorable compositions are "Mood Indigo" and "It Don't Mean a Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing)." As his career progressed, his compositions eventually took on a more "popular" tone, especially after signing with Frank Sinatra's Reprise label. In 1966 Ellington went on to win a Grammy (his first of six during his lifetime) for best original jazz composition for "In the Beginning, God" - a piece stemming from a series of sacred concerts he performed.
Ellington continued performing until spring of 1974 when he died from a combination of lung cancer and pneumonia. His band, however, played on.