Chelsea Reed & The Fair Weather Five

"Chelsea Reed is my favorite kind of singer. She sings the songs as they are intended: beautifully, candidly, with excellent pitch and swagger and very few frills. The Fair Weather Five have the taste and good judgment to back her up without getting in her way, and to swing while they're at it."
—Singer/songwriter, Carsie Blanton

In October of 2012, vocalist Chelsea Reed brought five of her friends together to play some tunes in a South Philly dining room. Secretly, her plan was to form a band that played for swing and blues dancers, so she could finally have the chance to sing her favorite songs for an audience that loved early jazz as much as she did. Since that fateful afternoon, those unsuspecting handsome men have comprised the Fair Weather Five: Noah Hocker on trumpet, Chris Oatts on saxophone, Jake Kelberman on guitar, Joe Plowman on bass, and Austin Wagner behind the drums.

Now, Chelsea Reed and the Fair Weather Five are at home at swing dances, jazz clubs and concert halls alike. They have played renowned Philadelphia venues and travel the country year round to perform at both Lindy and Blues exchanges and workshops. They've had the honor of sharing the stage with trombonist Wycliffe Gordon, pianist Gordon Webster, and bassist Michael Gamble. They love exploring the roots of jazz and finding creative ways to interpret forgotten songs. Drawing upon the influence of artists such as Bessie Smith, Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong and Billie Holiday, Chelsea Reed and the Fair Weather Five bring the intensity and passion of early jazz to every stage they play to put on one heck of a show.

For more information and music samples visit Chelsea Reed & The Fair Weather Five's website.

Joe Smith And The Spicy Pickles

Photo by Ben Hejkal

Joe Smith and the Spicy Pickles Jazz Band is a Denver-based vintage jazz band devoted to revitalizing swing music and dance. This small group style swing band packs a punch of power, personality, and wit into each show, intriguing generations new and old with the beloved charm of big band swing from the 1920’s, 30’s and 40’s. The Pickles bring it all – high energy, quality musicianship, and an authentic big band sound and look that celebrates the unique American spirit of swing. The band fuses musical influences from the sounds of Count Basie, Benny Goodman, and Artie Shaw with the showmanship of Louis Armstrong, Lucky Millinder, and Jimmy Lunceford. With a smart respect for the preservation of vintage jazz music and entertainment, the Pickles are constantly adding new and original tunes to their repertoire. They bring a unique visual flair to each performance with gimmicks, tricks, horn movements, and hat work inspired to captivate audiences all night long.

Trumpet player and vocalist, Joe Smith, started the band in January of 2013 to give dancers something to swing out to. Since the bands’ inception, the Pickles have held a special place in their heart for the swing dance community. The band travels from coast to coast playing their spicy tunes at swing dance events both large and small, inspiring dancers to fall in love with jazz over and over again. The group is notorious for their spot on arrangements and electrifying energy during competitions. The band is known to regularly keep dancers on their feet truckin’ until 4 in the morning.

For more information and music samples visit Joe Smith And The Spicy Pickles's website.

Royal Garden Trio (RGT)

Ahh, the Royal Garden Trio - just imagining them playing in the park on a Sunday afternoon (again) makes us giddy with joy. This 1930s-era Django Reinhardt-styled swing band has top notch musicians Brian Delaney on guitar, Mike Karoub on Cello (yes Cello!) and Tom Bogardus on tenor guitar and clarinet.

For more information and music samples visit the Royal Garden Trio's website.

James Dapogny's Jazz Band

James Dapogny's Jazz Band is an 8 piece rendition of a popular Ann Arbor staple. Every Sunday evening dancers and jazz lovers come to enjoy the 10 piece version of this band. Their 8 piece rendition provides us with a more 1930's feel.

The Rhythm Rapscallions

The Rhythm Rapscallions, featuring Jessica Feathers, regularly play around Ann Arbor. They like to play mournful blues, lovely ballads and good rompin’ jazz standards. With their quirky, yet danceable sound, and a good sense of playfulness and humor, they know that sometimes it just takes that little extra sauce...
  • Connor Cole (guitar)
  • Jessica Feathers (vocals)
  • Jens Glaser (piano)