Another major turning point for the band was when John Dunne and Bob Parsonson,who had by now become the band's manager, persuaded entrepreneur Declan Ganley of Ganley International Ltd to sponsor the further development of the band. The funds enabled John to set-up regular training sessions at St.Patrick's bandhall for aspiring musicians to learn the art of big band music. The only requirements were the ability to read music, be proficient with their instrument and the desire to work like mad.
John and his team of tutors drawn from the Black Magic Big Band obviously got things right, because several of the musicians have made it all the way and play in the band at BarCuba. Declan Ganley was not just a sponsor of the band,but was also a frequent visitor to BarCuba where he actually sang with the band a few times.
The band made its first appearance in the Cork Jazz Festival, playing in the Metropole Hotel on the Saturday and Sunday afternoons to a packed house and rave reviews.
With the aid of sponsorship from Rivada, the band's first album 'This could be the start' was released. This album earned the band the respect of many who had not heard the band live as the band enjoyed a lot of airplay on most of the national radio stations.
John Dunne stepped down as Musical Director in 2005, ably replaced by Stefano Muscovi, who took the band to new musical heights.
The reins were in turn handed to John Fleming in 2007, who was instrumental in the recording of the band's second album, 'At Last'.
'At Last', the band's second album, was released in June, 2008.
In May, the Band's monday night residency moved from Bar 903 to Busker Browne's, in Cross Street.
Following a collaboration with Frankie Gavin and Michelle Lally, the Black Magic Big Band was the first guest group ever asked to perform with all other guests on the Late Late Show.
The monday night residency in Busker Browne's ended, in September, after eight years, 3 months. A new monday-night residency began in Seven Bridgestreet on November 5th.
The final monday night performance in our 20-year run took place in Seven Bridge Street on December 16th, to a packed house.
The band has decided to move away from the weekly Monday night perfomance model and return to the rehearsal room, with public perfomances, every month or so, starting in the spring.