Chelsea Reed & The Fair Weather Five
|"Chelsea Reed is my favorite kind of singer. She sings the songs as they are intended:
candidly, with excellent pitch and swagger and very few frills. The Fair Weather Five have the
and good judgment to back her up without getting in her way, and to swing while they're at
—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
He plays the rhythms, the sounds, the pulse that makes dancers jump and feet glide. He wants to share what inspires this movement with you, the dancers of KissME in Ann Arbor. Bringing this rhythm, this jive and groove, is Ross Blythe. He’s a Chicago DJ with a love of travel and dance, he’ll spin the jazz you want to hear. Prepare for the sounds of the streets of the Delta, the thrum and catch of the Hot Club, the brazen horns and delicate clarinets of the grandstand: all of these and more for your ears, your feet, and your dance.
Ross can be found DJing around the midwest (with stints in Scotland and Toronto, CA) as well as events around Chicago including: 50Fifty, Bluetopia, Chicago Balboa Underground, Chicago Monthly Balboa Social, and Swing Dancing at Fizz.
After quickly fell in love with the dance community, Kyle started to organize and DJ for his home scene at Purdue. A love for dancing and music drove him to start travelling more and more, both as a DJ and dancer. Look forward to some sweet tunes and an exciting atmosphere as Kyle brings his ever expanding library to Ann Arbor!
Brennan's obsession with jazz and blues began back in his young adolescent years but it wasn't until 2009 that he started on his journey of playing for dance floors. Having honed his skills beginning in college swing clubs all over the midwest, he has now spun at regional and national events including Lindy on the Rocks, Pittstop, Hawkeye Swing Festival, and Pirate Swing. Brennan is the main organizer of the blues event CUBE in Chicago every summer as well as a house DJ for Chicago's premier lindy-hop venue, Fizz. Continually striving to find new and old music that inspires and challenges dancers to create art in all dance forms, Brennan brings the fast and slow, groovy and chunky, boisterous and sweet. He considers it a great honor and joy to bring the party once again to river of KissMe 2016.
Andry (pronounced like laundry) did his first swing out and blues step in '09 and has since pursued swing dancing with a fierce passion! As a regular DJ and instructor in Indianapolis's Naptown Stomp. Andry has been seen spinning tunes spreading the joy of dancing all over IN, IL, OH and MI! Dayton Swing Smackdown, Pittstop, CBUS and CBUS are some events where he as been featured among many others! Andry dances with a huge grin on his face, and when he DJs, his goal is to put a grin on yours. He is meticulous with his song selection so as to play the right song at the right time to maximize dancing enjoyment. Expect juicy musicality, songs with breaks, and songs with abundant heart! Not only will he keep you grooving, but with every song he aims to help dancers reach that dancing high we all love so much! KissMe in Ann Arbor is one of Andry's favorite Exchanges and he is more than excited to send everyone home as swung over as possible!
Mark’s DJing was once described as wonderfully whimsical (or tipsy) by a Yale faculty member. He has served as the music coordinator for SwingColumbus since 2012 where he’s trained DJ staff, coordinated local dances and help manage events like CBUS and Rocktober. This is his first time ever DJing in the state of Michigan and is he hoping you are nice to him even though he’s from Ohio.
As a DJ hailing from New Albany, Indiana, Jim Barry has been dancing since 1999, but just discovered in 2015 that being a DJ allows him to dance with the entire room. He plays swing and blues music every week for his local scene, with a touch of fusion in there for flavor. He's played weekly and monthly dances in Lexington, Saint Louis, Bloomington, Indianapolis, Nashville, Cincinnati, and has played for Southbound Shutdown and Mo Better Blues. He is super excited that KissME in Ann Arbor will be his first appearance in Michigan. His afternoon play style incorporates a fine blend of funk, soul, gospel, surf, jazz, and groove that will keep you pumped, playful, and dancing . . . even when your feet tell you it's time to be done. When the lights go down, it's a different story. He has a sweet tooth for some slow dripping blues mixed with some musically complex fusion that begs for a 3 minute hug on the dance floor.
Swing and blues dancing come from the rich culture of old tunes that continue to surface even to this day. His collection of music stems from whatever music he can get his hands on (CD’s to vinyl). His problem started innocent enough just purchasing a hand full of CD’s and now spend his days digitally chasing down the history of every artist and their tunes. Brent loves spinning tunes to for all crowds, whether you want swing-out hard, or take it nice and easy. Expect to hear different versions of your favorite tunes, leaning on that driving riffin’ Basie sound. He works hard to find something new in his DJ sets while paying homage to the classics. Brent has DJ’ed Music City Exchange (TN), CincyLX, CBUS, Rocktober, Pirate Swing, as well as so many more around the Midwest. You will catch Brent most often in the Indianapolis/Lafayette area teaching/DJ’ing, and otherwise spreading the rich culture of Swing and Blues dancing.
Raised in a busker caravan traveling through Eastern Europe, Michael began a life in music at an early age playing fiddle late nights around campfires. Chancing to hear a recording of Bessie Smith one evening, he began sneaking jazz and blues records to avoid disappointing his parents and began falling in love with the music and dance. Discovered one afternoon by his parents and cast from his caravan to fend for himself, he fell under the spell and eventually tutelage of legendary Lindy Hop and Blues DJ Jack 'Fingers' Robinson. At the end of his life, 'Fingers' gathered his students and passed along the secret to DJing to Michael alone, his best student, with his dying breath. Michael continues in the great DJ tradition established by 'Fingers.'
Sean is a regular DJ around the Ann Arbor area and is excited to be DJing at his first KissMe this year. Sean loves to celebrate music from local bands in his set, so look out for some favorites from around Michigan, Ohio, Illinois and Indiana.