Our Story

Since 1991, Beasley's Big Band plays big band jazz with power, drive, and a whole lot of swing.

We've been playing at the Wabasha Street Caves and O'Gara's Bar & Grill for more than 20 years. At the historic Wabasha Street Caves, you can swing dance to Beasley's Big Band on the third Thursday of just about every month. If you'd like to listen to Beasley's Big Band in an intimate club setting, stop by O'Gara's. We also play for corporate parties, swing dances, charity balls, wedding dances, and summer concerts in city parks.

We're known for playing classic big band jazz in the style of the Count Basie Orchestra. We also play many tunes using the same arrangements made famous by Glen Miller, Duke Ellington, Woody Herman, and Stan Kenton. In addition, we play many tunes arranged specially for our band by Charles Beasley. You won't hear those arrangements anywhere else.

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Just how big is Beasley's Big Band?

We're a 18 piece collection of people who love to play swing.  From front to back:

  • 5 saxophones: 2 altos, 2 tenors, and 1 baritone
  • 4 trombones
  • 4 trumpets
  • 4 rhythm: drums, bass, guitar, piano
  • 1 vocalist

Compared with typical pop music today, we're huge.  But from the 1920's to the early 1950's, this was how popular music was performed.  We strive produce an authentic sound that your grandparents would quickly recognize.

Beasley’s Big Band Members Emeritus 


  • Glen Gruye RIP  2012 
  • Charles Beasley RIP  2010 
  • Harry Ballard RIP  2011 
  • Jeri Zwack RIP  2017 
  • George Ross RIP 
  • Mark Gladding 
  • Warren Wiese 
  • Greg Bannister 
  • Doug Svendsen 
  • Mike Svendsen 


  • Ray Peterson RIP  2003 
  • Tim Domka 


  • Bill “Froggy” Halgren RIP 
  • Stuart Lane 
  • Eric Moonen 
  • Larry Foyen 
  • Dave Mantini 
  • Jason Karsten 
  • Jeff Rudoy 
  • Mel Carter RIP  2017 
  • Dave Haberman 
  • Nicole Young 
  • Peter Elliot 
  • Peter Davis 
  • Leo Fine RIP 2021
  • Tim Meyer 


  • Glenn Martin RIP 
  • Ryan Abrahamson 


  • Rodger Bartlett RIP  2011 
  • John Kaplan 
  • Maureen Williamson Schwartz 
  • Mark Browning Milner 
  • Carl Priest 


  • Art Weflen RIP   2003 
  • Bill Karnik RIP   2009 


  • Christine Rosholt RIP  2011 
  • Barbara Joyce 
  • Rochelle Randy-Larson