Swinging from the past into the future with the best of today...













Swinging from the past into the future with the best of today... Big Band, Swing, Sinatra, Motown, R&B and Classic Rock. The Next Generation Swing Band delivers the perfect blend of your favorite music, incorporating professional musicianship and stage presence into a dynamic and engaging performance. Your guests will undoubtedly find our music familiar and entertaining. There is nothing more compelling than live music to make your event successful and memorable!

The Next Generation Swing Band specializes in selections from the Great American Songbook; classic and authentic songs from the swing era; and pop standards of later decades.

Everyone loves to hear and dance to the classics from the Great American Song Book! Our swing band repertoire consists of hits by such greats as Glenn Miller, Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole, Stan Kenton, Duke Ellington, Woody Herman and Count Basie among others. If your guests prefer something more contemporary, The Next Generation Swing Band can easily customize our repertoire to suit your needs, ranging from soft ballads to driving Motown, R&B and Classic Rock dance music.

The Next Generation Swing Band

The Next Generation Swing Band

The Next Generation Swing Band has musical roots that span back six decades to 1953 when Al Raymond was already a seasoned trumpeter from his days with an army concert and jazz band in General George Patton’s 3rd Army during WWII, a tour with the Elliot Lawrence Big Band, three years with the Philadelphia-based George Summers Big Band, and leader of his own combo. Al decided it was time to put his real dream into action and form his own big band. With live music still thriving in those days, it was fairly easy for Al to begin picking up gigs in the many ballrooms and musical bars in the tri-state area. In 1956, the Al Raymond Big Band began to flourish as Al struck a steady gig on Sunday nights at Upper Darby’s St. Alice’s Social Center playing for the youth generation, usually over 1,000 per week, ages 16-29. This was the beginning of Al’s heyday. For eight great years, the band kept the audiences’ dancing feet in motion, while gaining notoriety and reaping many spin-off benefits by performing for hundreds of weddings, ballroom dances, and senior proms at many of the tri-state area high schools and colleges. All this while maintaining a full time day schedule as a school band director at Darby High School, Sun Valley High School, and Beverly Hills Junior High School for 27 years.

The Next Generation Swing Band at Hershey Park, 2003

The Next Generation Swing Band at Hershey Park, 2003

Through Al Raymond’s 45-year career as a big band leader, the band enjoyed quite a string of notable successes; performing for quite a few stars — Mel Tormé, Shirley Jones, Merv Griffin, Tony Martin, Al Martino, Cozy Morley, Frank Gorshin, June Valle, Tony Randall — to name just a few, at many of the top locations like Steel Pier in Atlantic City, Convention Hall in Philadelphia and A.C., Sunnybrook Ballroom, the Academy of Music, the Valley Forge and Westbury Music Fairs, The New York Hilton Hotel, Palumbo’s, the Grand Opera House in Wilmington DE, and countless country clubs and hotels in the region. To cap off his long line of accomplishments, the Al Raymond Big Band played at the Inaugural Balls of Presidents Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton in Washington DC, recorded over 20 albums and played on several cruise ships and authored a book about his career and view of the music business, Swingin Big Bands Into the Millenium. He also enjoyed over 15 years as a radio DJ playing an extensive library of big band music from around the world.

At the end of 1997, after 45 illustrious years at the helm of the band, it came time to pass the leader’s baton to his son Craig.

Bob Apgar

Bob Apgar

Craig Raymond got his start in music initially just by being the offspring of his dad, Al Raymond, who started Craig on the trumpet at age nine. After playing in his elementary and junior high school bands, Craig gained his first big band experience with the Marple Newtown High School Jazz Band and the West Chester University Band. From then on Craig’s musical dream was to play in a professional band like his father. So, just after turning 18, Craig got his first gig playing with the Al Raymond Big Band at the Granite Run Mall in Media PA. For the next 17 years, Craig gained a wide range of experience performing with the band. Finally, after observing the “Master” (Al) at his craft for all those years, Craig took over leadership of the Al Raymond Orchestra and changed the name to The Next Generation Big Band. Craig led the band into the new millennium and contemporized their repertoire to respond to new demands.

During the summer of 2008, both Al and Craig relocated to Arizona and the band was turned over to a new leader, Bob Apgar. Bob is continuing to offer the same high standards in musicality while putting his own spin on the band’s presentation. Look for exciting things from Next Generation Swing Band in the years to come.


123/Turn the Beat Around (Miami Sound Machine)
Brickhouse (Commodores)
Brown-eyed Girl (Van Morrison)
Can’t Hurry Love/Stop in the Name of Love (The Supremes)
Dancing in the Streets (Martha & The Vandellas)
Get Down Tonight/That’s the Way I Like It (KC & The Sunshine Band)
Hot Hot Hot (Buxter Poindexter)
Hurt So Good
I Feel Good (James Brown)
I Saw Her Standing There (Beatles)
In My Life (Beatles)
Jailhouse Rock (Elvis Presley)
Margaritaville (Jimmy Buffett)
Midnight Hour (Wilson Pickett)
Mustang Sally (Wilson Pickett)
Oh What a Night (Four Seasons)
Play That Funky Music (Wild Cherry)
Proud Mary (Tina Turner)
Respect (Aretha Franklin)
Pretty Woman (Roy Orbison)
Rock Around the Clock (Bill Haley)
Some Kind of Wonderful (Grand Funk Railroad)
Soul Man (Sam & Dave)
Stand By Me (Ben E. King)
Sugar Pie Honey Bunch (Temptations)
The Twist/Let’s Twist Again (Chubby Checker)
Time of My Life (From Dirty Dancing)
Twist and Shout (Beatles)
Under the Boardwalk
and many more…..


April in Paris (Count Basie)
Beyond the Sea
Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy
But Not for Me
Cabaret (Liza Minnelli)
Chattanooga Choo-Choo (Glenn Miller)
Dirty Boogie (Brian Setzer Orchestra)
Don’t Be That Way
Fly Me to the Moon (Frank Sinatra)
Flying Home
In the Mood (Glenn Miller)
Jump, Jive and Wail (Brian Setzer Orchestra)
Just in Time (Tony Bennett)
Mack the Knife (Bobby Darren)
New York, New York (Frank Sinatra)
Night & Day
Night Train
On a Clear Day
One O’clock Jump
Satin Doll (Duke Ellington)
Sentimental Journey (Glenn Miller)
Sing Sing Sing
Song of India (Tommy Dorsey)
String of Pearls (Glenn Miller)
Take the “A”-Train (Duke Ellington)
The Way You Look Tonight (Frank Sinatra)
Tuxedo Junction (Glenn Miller)
Two O’Clock Jump (Harry James)
Under My Skin
Witchcraft (Frank Sinatra)
Woodchopper’s Ball (Woody Herman)
Zoot Suit Riot (Cherry Popping Daddys)
and many more…..


After the Loving (Englebert Humperdinck)
All I Ask of You
As Time Goes By
Beauty & The Beast
Can’t Help Falling in Love
Can’t Help Lovin’ Dat Man
Embraceable You
Have I Told You Lately
I Believe in You There
I’ll Close My Eyes
It Had to Be You (Frank Sinatra)
Just the Way You Are (Billy Joel)
Memory (Barbara Streisand)
Misty (Johnny Mathis)
Moonlight in Vermont
My Funny Valentine
On the Street of Dreams
Strangers in the NIght (Frank Sinatra)
The Nearness of You
Unchained Melody
Unforgettable (Nat King Cole)
When I Fall in Love
When You Wish Upon a Star
Wind Beneath My Wings (Bette Midler)
and many more….


Bossa Nova
Cha Cha
Quiet Nights


All of Me
It Might As Well Be Spring
Love for Sale
Shiny Stockings
Sweet Georgia Brown
Things Ain’t What They Used to Be


Daddy’s Little Girl
Sunrise Sunset
Thank Heaven for Little Girls
The Wedding Song (Paul Stookey)


Moon River
The Anniversary Song


South Rampart Street Parade
The Saints Go Marching In


Always on My Mind
Crazy (Patsy Cline)

This is a partial listing of the ensemble’s repertoire — if you don’t see it please just ask!
(609) 883-9099!

Country Clubs

  • Merion Golf Club, Merion, PA
  • Albany Country Club, NY
  • Springfield Country Club, Springfield, PA
  • Fox Chapel Country Club, Pittsburgh, PA
  • Dupont Country Club, Wilmington, DE
  • Lancaster Country Club, Lancaster, PA
  • and many more…


  • Sunnybrook, Pottstown, PA
  • Meadowbrook, NJ
  • Convention Hall, Cape May, NJ
  • Hershey Convention Center, Hershey, PA
  • and many more…


  • Tropicana
  • Bally’s
  • Showboat
  • Claridge


  • Bellevue Stratford, Philadelphia, PA
  • Wyndham Franklin Plaza, Phila., PA
  • New York Hilton, New York, NY
  • Hotel Dupont, Wilmington, DE
  • Hotel Hershey, Hershey, PA
  • and many more…

Presidential Inaugurations

  • 1997-Washington, DC

Television Channels

  • 3-6-10-12-17-48


  • Merck & Company
  • American Cancer Society
  • Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
  • Einstein Hospital
  • The Naval Architects
  • American Diabetes Association
  • and many more…..

Colleges & Universities

  • University of Pennsylvania
  • Princeton
  • Temple
  • Villanova
  • St. Joesph’s
  • LaSalle
  • Drexel
  • Haverford
  • Bryn Mawr
  • and many more….

Other Locations

  • Westbury Music Fair, NY
  • Valley Forge Music Fair, PA
  • Academy of Music, PA
  • Grand Opera House, DE
  • Veteran’s Stadium, PA
  • Hershey Park, PA
  • Gretna Theater, PA
  • Nissley Winery, PA
  • National Constitution Center, PA
  • Media Theater for the Arts, PA
  • and many more…..


  • “It’s Our Time”
  • “Big Band Concert & Frank Sinatra Tribute”

It was such a pleasure to have you and the Next Generation Swing Band join us for the 2011 Voices of Summer gala. Thank you for playing Bobby Rydell numbers and for playing for him. What a treat to hear him together with your band. People were just thrilled. And we all adored dancing until the very end.

Again, on behalf of The Voice Foundation, I thank you for your invaluable support and partnership over the years and hope to work with you again in the future.

Maria Russo, Managing Director, The Voice Foundation
I can’t thank you and the members of the band enough for helping us celebrate John and Meghan’s wedding. All of the guests thoroughly enjoyed the music whether they were dancing or just listening. It really helped the festivity be all that it could be. I’m not a dancer myself, but I am enjoying looking at the photos of everyone enjoying themselves on the dance floor — everyone of all ages. It was just perfect.
Satisfied client
The Next Generation Swing Band was a hit with all of our guests, from ages 9 to 92! Classics such as “Let Me Call You Sweetheart” to a fabulous rendition of “The Electric Slide” had us, our wedding party, and all of our guests dancing and having a great time. The evening was perfect, in no small part because of The Next Generation Swing Band’s outstanding performance. We strongly recommend that any soon-to-be-married couples look no further for their wedding band.
John & Meghan Lovett-Capone
It was such a pleasure to have you and The Next Generation Swing Band join us for the 2009 Voices of Summer Gala. Once again your entertainment made the evening a true success and a joyful evening for all our attendees. I have received enormous positive feedback since the Gala and as always, the music was at the top of the list!

The Voices of Summer Gala was truly a spectacular evening and and I am certain that it would not have been nearly as big a success without the jazz trio, jazz quartet and full band you brought with you!

Again, on behalf of The Voice Foundation, I thank you for your invaluable support and partnership over the years and hope to work with you again in the future.

Kathryn Murphy, Executive Director, The Voice Foundation