Band History


The SeaNotes Big Band evolved from a group of local musicians in and around Oak Harbor, Washington. In 1991, the eight members of Young At Heart, most of whom had their roots in the local community band, began compiling a collection of easy to play ballads and golden oldies. Looking to increase their exposure and expand their musical horizons, the group disbanded and reformed in the summer of 93 as The SeaNotes. The name was suggested by Treva Carter, the wife of retired trombone player Nick Carter, one of the original, and still treasured SeaNotes.

The band began to spread its wings under the direction of Caroline King. Sax player George Lincoln eventually took over the directorship until the mid 90s when Oak Harbor native and trombone virtuoso Bruce Seltveit took over the helm.

Important in the history of the SeaNotes Big Band was Oak Harbor native Paul Allen. Paul spent ten years in France after WW II directing his own big band. He worked with such luminaries as Maurice Chevalier and Django Rhinehart, the well known gypsy jazz guitarist. Frequently attending rehearsals, Allen offered invaluable direction and guidance to the fledgling band, helping them understand the techniques and nuances of big band music.

The current incarnation of the SeaNotes Big Band is still led by Bruce Seltveit, and consists of the famous SeaNote five-sax front line, three trombones, and three trumpets. The rhythm section consists of piano, bass, and drums. The fourteen member band and over thirty eager subs hail from South Whidbey Island to Bellingham.

Dedicated to the swing era music of the 30s, 40s, and 50s, the SeaNotes have enjoyed the resurgence of big band music (great music lasts forever!). The bands repertoire includes some of todays contemorary swing arrangements, waltzes, tangos, and other popular music styles. Performing at assorted venues (they’ve even played inside a giant hanger at Boeing) the band has developed a loyal following in Island, Whatcom, and Skagit Counties. Throughout the years they have appeared several times in the Whidbey Island Dixieland Jazz Festival and the Bellingham Jazz/Swing Break Festival. They have played to receptive audiences at Concerts on the Cove in Coupeville, the Anacortes Arts and Crafts Festival, the Oak Harbor Music Festival, and various private clubs, organizations, and settings throughout Western Washington.

The band regularly performs at the Oak Harbor Elks lodge.        

The SeaNotes Big Band. Swinging in the Northwest!