ABBPS on Display at WGBH Event

ABBPS has partnered with WGBH to bring a 1920s flair to Boston at WGBH’s “An Evening Inspired by Downtown Abbey.” Attendees to WGBH’s gala will travel back in time to mid-1920s Britain to revel in the music, dance, food and fashion that make the era portrayed in the series’ fifth season so appealing. ABBPS president, Dan Gabel, and the High Society Orchestra, featuring vocalist Elise Roth, are the star performers at the event.

ABBPS will help transport attendees back to the 1920s with displays of period memorabilia. The ABBPS collection includes Vaughn Monroe’s trombone and arrangements from the Henry Busse library, all generously donated to ABBPS’s library for preservation for future generations.

ABBPS Presents: A Very Special Valentine’s Dance

On February 14th, the Cardinal Cushing Center in Hanover, MA will be transported back to the Roaring 20s and beyond with a Valentine’s Day Dance (including instruction) with live music from Dan Gabel’s High Society Orchestra with a very special guest vocalist, Amanda Carr. This 10-piece authentic dance band will showcase some of the greatest music of the 20th century. We may even add a few other surprise guest vocalists! Buy tickets online now.

In a celebration of the irresistible music of both the Gatsby and Swing eras, you will be treated to:

  • Free Dance instruction
  • Appetizers
  • Full cash bar
  • Valet Parking available

You are encouraged (but not required) to put on your best vintage garb, learn a few steps from our expert dancers or simply sit back and listen to this infectious sound.

What better way to celebrate Valentine’s Day than to listen, dance and be a part of this romantic evening. Come alone, bring a special partner (or an entire group), raise a champagne and a chocolate-covered strawberry and find yourself transported to the Charleston, the Lindy, the waltz and the rhumba.

All event proceeds will benefit the American Big Band Preservation Society, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization dedicated to preserving, promoting and performing this great music, with a special emphasis on our youth and schools.

WHERE: Cardinal Cushing Center, 405 Washington St., Hanover, MA

WHEN: Saturday, February 14, 2014 at 8:00 PM (doors open at 7:30)


  • $35 Per Person
  • $65 Per Couple
  • $300 Per Table of 10

Buy tickets online now  or call Mike at (781) 589-9970. Please note: Proceeds from ticket sales go the American Big Band Preservation Society, Inc. and, as such, ALL SALES ARE FINAL– NO REFUNDS CAN BE OFFERED.

Proceeds will fund the Society’s efforts to bring Big Band music back into our schools through master classes, clinics, seminars and live performance.

Za Za Ludwig Band Photo

ABBPS Preserves Cullen Band Arrangements


This past week, I had the pleasure to meet Mr. Steve Cullen of Medfield, MA. His father, Steve Cullen Sr., led a successful dance band in New England during the 1930s, and before that played with one of the most popular groups in the area during the 1920s, “Za Za Ludwig and his Vaudeville Boys.” Ludwig was quite a popular act, and always had a good band.


Incredibly, the entire music library of the Cullen band was preserved all these years, organized in boxes and through an alpha-numeric catalog system. Last Wednesday, I went to Steve (Jr)’s house, and we spoke about the band, his fathers story, and the arrangements. Most generously, Steve donated the arrangement library to the ABBPS!


Steve Cullen’s arrangements wouldn’t be filed away someplace, but rather played and made available. Already, four of the arrangements were played by Dan Gabel and the Abletones at a dance gig! The tunes were a hit as the dancers loved the music, and the band did a great job sight-reading the charts.

Listen to the recording above. The recording features:
  • Satin Takes a Holiday
  • The Umbrella Man
  • There’s Frost on the Moon
  • Music, Maestro Please
We are looking forward to bringing more of these wonderful arrangements from Steve Cullen’s collection back to life!