Swingtime in the Springtime
Featuring Greg Ruby and the Rhythm Runners, plus the Neil Andersson Quartet in a special appearance.
In April 2012, a coincidental meeting at a Brooklyn music venue brought together Greg Ruby, Pacific Northwest guitarist specializing in a range of jazz traditions, and Dennis Lichtman, multi-instrumentalist and New York bandleader deeply entrenched in early- to mid-1900s American music. Realizing their mutual interest in early jazz, they collected some of the finest old school swing musicians from around the country to form the Rhythm Runners, including New York star jazz trumpeter Gordon Au, New Orleans trombonist and adventurer Charlie Halloran and propulsive, melodic New Orleans bassist Cassidy Holden. In 2014 while composing music for the Rhythm Runners, Greg found compositions by Frank D. Waldron, a Seattle Jazz pioneer, teacher, and clear master of the crossover between Ragtime and Dixieland. Greg arranged these pieces for the Rhythm Runners to great success, bringing out the Professors spark & swing.
"The Rhythm Runners Prohibition Era jazz is such infectious fun it could almost make you wish the 21st Amendment had never been repealed." Dick Stein, Jazz DJ, KNKX FM Seattle, Tacoma
Founding member of Pearl Django Neil Andersson makes a rare performance leading an all star quartet. Neil Andersson and Troy Chapman, guitarists for the quartet, are two powerful and well-honed craftsmen who understand that music made together is conversation through melody and that's where the magic happens. The two Pearl Django graduates have long known each other in the Puget Sound Swing Manouche community. They met the highly accomplished violinist Julian Smedley in this same close circle and were introduced to New Orleans gem Cassidy Holden by Greg Ruby, also of Pearl Django. This delightful combination brings together Django Reinhardt classics, original compositions by Neil and Troy and superb playing from all the band members in a classy intersection of all stars, joining early and modern swing into purely joyous music.
"...building a swaying suspension bridge between the Jazz idioms, American and French respectively, of Blues Swing ... and Django Reinhardt. ... Oui, this is very good."
Srajan Ebaen's 6 Moons World Music
Band Member Bios
Greg Ruby and the Rhythm Runners
Greg Ruby leads The Greg Ruby Quartet, a Hot Club jazz group dedicated to all-original compositions; collaborates with New York and New Orleans musicians in The Rhythm Runners, a Prohibition-era dance band; place Valse musette and European café jazz with Bric-a-brac Trio.
A former member of Pearl Django, Greg has toured throughout the United States, Canada and Europe. Hes published the Pearl Django Play-Along Book Vol.1 through Djangobooks.com and anticipates a summer 2017 release of a play-along CD/book on the swing guitar mastery of Oscar Aleman.
Greg is currently working on the project, Syncopated Classic: Rediscovering the lost composition of Seattle Jazz pioneer Frank Waldron.
Dennis Lichtman is a multi-instrumentalist (clarinet, violin, mandolin) who is deeply entrenched in early- to mid-1900s American music, from traditional jazz and swing to bluegrass and western swing, and is a music educator.
Since 2007, Dennis has been the clarinetist and bandleader of the famed Tuesday night traditional-jazz jam session at Monas in downtown New York, described by the Wall Street Journal as ground zero for an emerging late-night scene
Dennis leads his sextet, The Brain Cloud, through a broad array of American music including original compositions and new arrangements. The Brain Cloud has held a Monday night residency at famed Brooklyn venue Barbès since 2011.
Gordon Au has been making waves in traditional and modern jazz circles since graduating from the renowned Monk Institute, all from his home base in New York City. His unique creative voice blends influences that span a full century: from the traditional/early jazz of Louis Armstrong and Bix Beiderbecke to the modern jazz of the new millennium.
As an undergraduate, Gordon studied jazz composition and performance at Berklee College of music. While at the Monk Institute, Gordon co-founded the New Orleans Moonshiners, a group described in the press as a trad jazz band with new souls.
Gordon appears at music festivals as Guest Artist and leader of the Au Brothers Jazz Band. In New York, Gordon leads the traditional jazz Grand St. Stompers, hailed as the past, present future rolling on!
Charlie Halloran grew up in St. Louis, earned a Masters in trombone at the Eastman School of Music, and learned trampagne in New Orleans.
In 2009 Charlie was pulled off of a Mardi Gras float by the Squirrel Nut Zippers, with whom he still travels to parts unknown.
Named one of Offbeat Magazines best trombonists in 2014 and 2016, Charlie performs regularly with Meschiya Lake and the Little Big Horns, the Palmetto Bug Stompers, the Panorama Jazz Band and the Shotgun Jazz Band. He can still be found bringing up the rear with Tuba Skinny, the Preservation Hall All-stars and over at Palm Court Café. He is thrilled to have performed with Allen Toussaint.
Cassidy Holden is a bassist and rhythm section player performing traditional jazz and Delta blues. Based in New Orleans, Cassidy can be heard across the U.S. and Europe as a sideman in the company of The Loose Marbles, Gordon Webster, Luke Winslow-King, Dan Levinson, and leading his own group, Cassidy and the New Orleans Kids.
Cassidys playing is the bottom line for his bands, and to listen to him is to know the strength and structure of his sound. Hear the low woody propulsive sound Cassidy gets (the right notes, the right changes, a wonderful pulse) as well as his cellolike clarity. Michael Steinman, Jazz Lives
The Neil Andersson Quartet
Neil Andersson is one of Americas first exponents of Gypsy Jazz Guitar and a founding member of Pearl Django; he can be heard on all 11 of the groups recordings.
His two-CD collaboration with guitarist Peter Pendras, Malibu Manouche, blends surf guitar with Gypsy Jazz.
Neil released a recording as leader in a modern Jazz format, titled Cest si bon, and his earlier releases include a precursor to Pearl Django, Quartet Deluxe, as well as recordings on the Etiquette and United Artists labels.
Neil is a member of the Northwest Music Hall of Fame.
Troy Chapman grew up around the Yellow Door coffee house in Montréal Canada with its stream of guitarists, and was hooked for life.
The fingerpicking of Mississippi John Hurt soon gave way to a love of jazz, followed through education at Concordia University and The American Conservatory of Music.
After 21 years in Chicago playing varied music from big band jazz to REALLY LOUD, Troy moved to the Pacific Northwest. A love affair with the music of Django Reinhardt was rekindled. In 2010 Troy joined Pearl Django and appears in their 2 latest CDs. Troy also plays gypsy jazz with The Hot Club of Troy, composes and plays original jazz with the Troy Chapman group, swing with Trio Nouveau and Baroque guitar with the Island Consortium.
Julian Smedley started his highly accomplished musical career as a choirboy in his native England. As a violinist he performed regularly on the BBC, and he co-founded the Bowles Brothers Band, which recorded on Decca Records.
Since moving to the West Coast of the US he has performed with such artists as Art Lande, Ralph Towner, Gary Peacock and Gil Evans. He was a member of the Bay Areas Hot Club of San Francisco.
Julian is currently a member of the Debutones and performs with The Greg Ruby Quartet, and Julian and Alison, a jazz duo with his wife.
Featured Composer Frank D. Waldron
Frank D. Waldron saxophonist, cornetist, composer, bandleader and teacher is one of the most important figures in early Seattle jazz. In 1919, he established the Waldron School of Trumpet and Saxophone at 1242 Jackson Street, the epicenter of Seattles growing music scene. There he taught generations of Seattle musicians including world famous jazz stars Quincy Jones and Buddy Catlett.
Throughout the 1920s, Waldron fronted the Odean Jazz Orchestra at the Nanking Café in downtown Seattle. As a composer, Waldron created a remarkable body of work. In 1924, he self-published a 32-page book for saxophone students,Frank Waldrons Syncopated Classic. Waldron used nine of his own compositions in this book to demonstrate the latest techniques and included detailed piano and saxophone notations. This book and his students hold Waldrons legacy.
Clatsop Community College Performing Arts Center (View)
588 16th Street
Astoria, OR 97103
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