A bunch of rebel musicians back in 1981 decided to go jazzy and break away from the traditional big band sound.

Led by saxophonist Peter Low in the early days, the Mid West Big Band launched upon Swindon playing much of his own arrangements.

Today's musical director, Len Morphew said that the band still play some of Peter's arrangements.

On Saturday, February 23 the 17-piece band will be back in Christ Church, Old Town, Swindon, at 8pm, for a special concert in aid of the Prospect Hospice.

Tony Baker, saxophonist, said: "Following our recent success in raising funds for the Centrepoint young homeless, we felt that it would be nice to do a concert for a charity a bit nearer to home. Prospect Hospice has suffered a bit of bad press recently and I know from personal experience there is a big public following supporting this hospice.''

The concert will feature the band's resident vocalist Ken Jell and Kerry Smith with the Delta West Saxophone Quartet performing in the interval.

Len has been the regular musical director with the band wince 2004 but says he is not the longest serving member.

"That honour belongs to John Drew who was a founding member. Other notable musicians in our ranks over the years included Ken Exton lead trumpet in the early days, Freddie Goodyear on trombone, Ernie Hillier and Henry Francombe on sax,'' he said.

Today the band has four trumpets, four trombones, five sax players and four rhythm who play Glenn Miller, Benny Goodman, Count Basie, Duke Ellington and arrangements from the Contemporary National Youth Jazz Orchestra.

At the Christ Church concert the Mid West Big Band will feature their professional guest director Bob Cutting who played trumpet with Joe Loss and Herb Miller.

Ken will be singing Frank Sinatra-style numbers and Kerry will be singing songs from Ella Fitzgerald and Billy Holliday. There will also be a raffle in the interval. Tickets are available from 01793 875290 or lenvmorphew@hotmail.co.uk- Flicky Harrison