Russ Wilson & His Famous Orchestra
Russ Wilson and His Famous Orchestra is the only big band in the Southeast faithfully and authentically recreating the sounds of 20's and 30's hot jazz and dance music. You’ll hear music made famous by Ben Bernie, Bert Lown, Ben Pollack, Fletcher Henderson, Chick Webb, Duke Ellington, among many others. The lineup will feature some of the finest swing musicians in the south, and will keep you dancing all night long!
Michael Gamble & The blue ridge serenaders
For Blue Ridge Bal, Michael has created a unique version of his nationally renowned swing group (The Rhythm Serenaders) that features varied instrumentation and some fresh new tunes, but all of that same rhythmic drive and vintage joy. If you dig the classic performances of Teddy Wilson, Lionel Hampton, Benny Goodman, Charlie Christian, Count Basie, Duke Ellington and Lester Young, this is probably your style of swingin' stuff!
THE POSEY QUintet
The Posey Quintet can’t give you anything but rhythm – and they have so much to share. This small jazz combo is led by Asheville’s own stride pianist, James ‘Posey’ Posedel. The Posey Quartet performs rhythm-centric arrangements of hot jazz and swing obscurities from historic Storyville, LA to the red light districts of St. Louis. The group is heavily influenced by the likes of Fats Waller, Count Basie, and Jellyroll Morton, and features a balboa-worthy eruption of highly danceable rhythm set to turn-of-the-century Harlem Stride.
Michael Gamble & The Rhythm Serenaders
Michael Gamble and the Rhythm Serenaders are a hard swinging and stylistically faithful ensemble created in the mold of the late 1930's, early 1940's dance band. Their sound is characterized by an aggressive four-on-the-floor time-feel, thick & riffy horn arrangements, and an eclectic songbook that touches on the sweet and sentimental as well as the hot and bothered. This 8-piece incarnation performs arrangements that were popularized not by the large orchestras or small combos, but the many medium-sized outfits that worked during the time such as those led by Fletcher Henderson, the Coleman Hawkins All Stars, various Duke Ellington and Lionel Hampton side groups, the Dickie Wells and Willie Bryant orchestras, and more. They dig up material that will be instantly familiar to vintage music aficionados and swing dancers even if it never made it to the Greatest Hits compilations of the day.
The Low-Down Sires
The Low-Down Sires have been busy reviving rare early 20th century jazz classics for the past five years, and are known and respected widely as true traditionalists. Consistently hailed as one of the most popular dance bands in the region, the Sires have had the pleasure of performing at events all over the eastern US, in addition to their regular circuit of local swing dances, club appearances, and private parties. Dedicated to the lost sounds of the earliest roots of jazz, and inspired by the compositions and arrangements of King Oliver, Kid Ory, Jelly Roll Morton and other giants from the storied origins of the art form, their authentic sound transports listeners to the streets of Old New Orleans and the barrelhouses of early 20th century Mississippi river towns. Their hot swingin' style is a surefire hit with audiences everywhere, from concert halls, bars and back-porches, to swing dances and street corners
The House Hoppers
Trumpeter, bandleader & vocalist Mick Glasgow [Low Down Sires] and friends bring rootsy good-time swingin' jazz & early 20th century vintage pop classics back around. The Hoppers will be leading the downtown balboa parade and 'shuffle mob'.
Brennan DeVoe- DJ
Brennan’s love for music began at a young age. Picking up the guitar at age eleven, he was playing professionally on stage at age fourteen. Over the next decade, he grew to play nine instruments ranging in almost every genre of music. His love of music is what first drew him to dancing in the late 2000’s. After helping to breathe new life into a struggling dance studio in his hometown, he's been teaching, judging and competing on a national level ever since. Brennan has placed in several competitions in Balboa, Lindy Hop, Blues and Charleston, He now travels to teach and run live sound for many events nationally. Brennan approaches his dancing as a musician, focusing on strong technique and musicality that allows him to hear “beyond the eight,” and has a passion to help others do the same.
Kadie Pangburn- DJ
Kadie fell in love with jazz and the world of swing through her childhood obsession with old black and white movies from the 1930s and 40s. For her, music, especially jazz, is all about emotion and story telling and dancing is about getting the chance to express those emotions and stories through our bodies and experience them with another human being. Her music is filled with moody minor keys, passionate solos, energetic rhythms, mystery and most importantly, drama. Favoring swing tunes from the 1930s and 40s, some of her favorite musicians include Artie Shaw, Count Basie and Benny Goodman.