Big Band Jazz


Jazz Celebration X     May 20, 2018     First Baptist Church of Bellingham   3 pm – 5 pm  admission.$15

The first half of Jazz Celebration X will feature a local musician who graduated from Bellingham High School and Western Washington University who went in the the service shortly after graduation. The musician, Paul Sorensen, is well known in Whatcom County as both a band leader and an outstanding musician. His primary instrument as he came through the Bellingham Schools, W.W.U. and the Navy School of Music was the saxophone. He was named the Outstanding Musician at the Navy School of Music after only six months! He learned to play jazz on the piano during his days in the service and plays as much on keyboard today as he does on the sax. Paul is the leader of the Paul Sorensen Big Band and will be our featured band for the Jazz Celebration X concert. His jazz quartet, The Paul Sorensen Quartet plays engagements in and around Bellingham, most often at the Martini Bar. The big band will be playing music that Paul has composed and arranged for the large jazz ensemble of eighteen players. His name as an arranger is very respected in our area and local musicians find his arrangements both jazzy, musical and challenging to perform. The skills he has developed as an arranger have earned him a reputation for a professional sound and an exciting one as well.

The entire second part of the concert will spotlight music composed by Robert (Bob) Storms and will be varied in styles throughout.  You’ll hear Ragtime, Dixieland, Swing, Latin and Modern jazz styles. The performing groups (on this website) are the usual cast of players: the Bellingham Dixieland All Stars – featuring the vocals of Mary Michaelson, Stormy Sea and the Gales (Bob’s family band) and our Spotlight Feature of the evening will be a ……..(wait for it….) Sax – O – rama.  What that means is that every available prominent saxophone player in our area will be invited to perform in a mass of saxophones, of all sizes, for the last few numbers and the Grand Finale. So far, over fourteen saxophone players have already agreed to play. The saxophones will be of as many sizes as possible so you will get to see a collection of saxophones like you have never seen before. There will be tiny sopraninos, sopranos, altos, tenors, baritones and the bass saxophones that are huge.  Trust that it will be a “photo op.” like never seen before in Bellingham.


A Party Of One

      Shine On Medley
      Let the World Go By
      Hey Good Lookin'


Bob Storms is the “Party of One”.  He performs on the keyboard and sings a wide variety of songs that are both entertaining (comic) and very well known to the audience for which he performs.  The Technics K5000 keyboard plays rhythms complete with a full compliment of instrumental combinations; everything from blues, latin, ballroom, jazz and more.

Sing-along songs are always a part of the program and Bob knows a lot of them.  Taking requests and playing them in whatever key the people want to sing them in, is often the case. The list of songs that Bob can play is extensive and he often performs regularly at senior centers and retirement homes.

The Party of One began when Bob had been asked to play for a retirement home in which he had a friend residing.  The gig went so well that it wasn’t long before he was playing everywhere in town!

To book: contact Robert Storms


Band Director

Robert Storms
Teacher / Composer / Professional Artist

For forty years Bob had been a music teacher in the public schools working at the middle school level teaching band, jazz band, elementary music and choir.  He was elected Music Teacher of the Year in 2000 for the San Juan District of the Washington State MENC (Music Education National Conference) by his peers and was subsequently admitted to the NWBA, an organization with the elite membership of outstanding music teachers in the northwest.
As a teacher, he found a need to provide music for his own school groups, and used his talents to create new compositions that eventually other school music groups wanted to play.  Bob became known as a composer, so he began publishing his own compositions, and they are now being played from California to Alaska, and Canada.  Bob has directed composer presentations in Kenai and Fairbanks, Alaska, Santa Clara, CA, Tri-Cities, Enumclaw, Ferndale and Stanwood, Washington over the years.  Serving also as a contest festival judge for band, jazz band, chorus, orchestra, solos and ensembles for over twenty years, the composer presentations were sometimes combined with contest festivals.  The success of the first presentation spawned more invitations and the composer presentations format was born.
Bob is the winner of three composition contests, author of twelve books of songs (1200 songs in copyright), and numerous pieces for concert band, orchestra, choir and small instrumental ensembles.  Three of his pieces have been published by the Macy Publishing Company of New Jersey.  Now retired, Bob devotes his time composing, arranging, guest conducting, guest solo performing; but mostly playing jazz professionally.

He was asked to conduct the Bayshore Symphony, of Bellingham, WA, in two concerts in the spring of 2012 when the symphony was searching for a new conductor.

Bob’s clarinet playing has been recognized by both jazz and classical audiences, his participation in countless Dixieland Jazz Festivals around the U.S.A. have allowed him to perform with famous musicians and perform around the world as a jazz musician.  As a classical musician, Bob performed with the Whatcom Symphony during the 1980s for three years. More recently, Bob filled in for the 1st clarinetist in the Skagit Valley Symphony when he was unable to perform on concert night. On that evening he played the entire concert without ever having seen the music beforehand.  There were several important solo places in the first half of the concert alone.  The concert concluded with Bob performing (sight reading) four movements of William Grant Still’s African American Symphony as clarinet soloist.  This took place in McCaw Hall (symphony hall) in Mt. Vernon, WA in 2008.




Personnel: Bob Storms – leader/reeds, Mary Michaelson – vocals, Jerry Fenwick – trumpet, flugelhorn, Clive Collins – trombone, Steve Rudy – piano, Bruce Maurier – string bass, Brent Storms – drums.

Since its inception, in 2009, the Bellingham Dixieland All Stars have played the best dixieland music in Whatcom County. And through those beginning years the band was swinging for dancing and listeners in Canada, and as far south as Olympia and continue to do so today.

The band was formed when two well-known dixieland jazz players came to Whatcom County to retire and were looking for a band to join. The leader, Bob Storms, recognized their talent and set about gathering up the best and most available players to form a band around them. The All Stars band became made up of bandleaders. Each player had valuable experience performing in jazz festivals where the best bands are utilized. That experience saved hours of rehearsal time as the players were up to any of the challenges and demands of any dixieland repertoire. In short, they were already expert, and experienced dixieland players and knew their music. Only two changes in personnel has been needed, A female vocalist was added in 2014, her name is Mary Michaelson. Mary is also a bandleader and, like the others, knows her repertoire very well. The other is an new bass player, Bruce Maurier, who recently retired here in Whatcom County and has caught the attention of the local musicians with his fine playing.

The Bellingham Dixieland All Stars is known for its artistry and “new dixieland jazz music”. Bob is a composer of over a thousand songs and the band performs some in each show. Otherwise, the dixieland music they play is what the listeners and dancers are expecting to hear – standard dixieland songs that people love to listen and dance to. The music of the 20s, & 30s is thought to be the dixieland era but Louis Armstrong introduced “Hello Dolly”, “What A Wonderful World” and “Cabaret” and others to the music as jazz standards in the 1950s.

Every toe will be tapping as the Bellingham Dixieland All Stars performs their show. Its easy to listen to, and dance to, as well.

Don’t miss this band! Its a great experience to hear dixieland music played well and surely all ages will enjoy the music’s charm.



Stormy Sea Quartet + the Gales

The Stormy Sea and the Gales
The Storms family band STORMY SEA & the GALES was formed in January 2006. The first ensemble performance was in March of that year at the Mount Baker Theater in Bellingham, Washington.


Brandon, Brent, Bob and Brian Storms

The Gales –


Roberta Plata Becky Sharrett Beverly Rappaana
Brenda Duffy
A lot has happened since these photos were taken. Although, occasionally, the Stormy Sea and the Gales do appear in some of the Jazz Celebration Concerts the group doesn’t perform as an ensemble anymore.


Annual Jazz Celebration Concert Series

Jazz Celebration X Concert 2018

The music for the Jazz Celebration concerts is totally the work of one man, Robert Storms. And as this year’s concert is under construction at the present time, the songs are not, as Bob has over 1100 songs to choose from and simply picks out a batch of twenty or more for each Jazz Celebration concert. The concerts have been going on since 2009 and have showcased more than 160 compositions to date.

The event is being organized at this time. Watch for the announcement of the concert on the internet and in the print media after the first of the year.


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Dixieland Jazz

Master copies of the lead sheets are $2.00
Title  MP3 Link  Description  Buy Lead Sheets
 Dixieland Rag Standard (360) 499-6181
 Old Bourbon Street  Laid Back
 (360) 499-6181
 I Want to Hear Some Dixieland  Standard  (360) 499-6181
 My Little Black-eyed Gal   Standard (360) 499-6181
The Cats Meow   Standard  (360) 499-6181


Master copies of the lead sheets are $2.00
Title  MP3 Link   Description  Buy Lead Sheets
 Your the One Medium Swing (360) 499-6181
 Home Cookin’ Medium Swing (360) 499-6181
 Little Song Bossa Nova (360) 499-6181
 The Grabber Medium Fast (360) 499-6181
 Swing Street Medium Swing (360) 499-6181
Local composer and originator of the Jazz Celebration Series


Master copies of the lead sheets are $2.00

More tunes are available in this style offline.

Title MP3 Link Buy Lead Sheets
I’ll Never Stop Loving You  (360) 499-6181
 A Kiss for Luck


(360) 499-6181
 Near to Me (360) 499-6181
 Never Ending Love (360) 499-6181
 Seven Lonely Hours (360) 499-6181


Local composer and originator of the Jazz Celebration Series


Bossa Novas, Rhumbas, Sambas, Tangos, Mambos

Master copies of the lead sheets are $2.00

Title  Mp3 Link Description  Buy Lead Sheets
 My Life, My Love Beguine (360) 499-6181
 That Summer Day Bossa Nova (360) 499-6181
 Little Flower of the Night Rumba (360) 499-6181
 Ashley Samba (360) 499-6181
 Y2K Tangle Tango (360) 499-6181
 Katrina Cha-Cha (360) 499-6181
Caribbean Rock  Latin Rock  (360) 499-6181
 Rhumba Numba Rumba (360) 499-6181
 El Tango Posada Tango (360) 499-6181
 Rumba Elegante  Rumba  (360) 499-6181
 Midnight Mambo Mambo (360) 499-6181
 Sambalita Samba (360) 499-6181