The Boilermaker Jazz Band has performed at every Pitt Stop Lindy Hop, and this year makes number 17! With their unique brand of musical Americana and hot jazz revelry, the Boilermaker Jazz Band brings the party to you! The Band interprets the great American song book in their own unique fashion, bringing the swinging sounds of the jazz age back to life. You’ll hear familiar classics and rarities performed by superb instrumentalists and heartfelt vocalists. From concert halls to dances, festival stages to elegant soirees, listeners and dancers agree — with their infectious beat and enthusiasm this band can make any crowd move!
The Boilermaker Jazz Band has performed at major venues throughout the world, including Lincoln Center and the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City, The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, Chicago Summer Dance, the Smithsonian Institute in Washington DC, The Edinburgh International Festival in Scotland, and The Jeju Island Swing festival in Korea.
Everywhere they go, they deliver the good feelings that real jumpin’ jazz can create. Paul and the Boilermakers have recorded eight critically acclaimed CD’s and have received rave reviews for their excellent live performances. The Boilermakers have been featured on radio shows across the country and overseas, including a National Public Radio Jazz Series that was broadcast on over 50 stations. The Boilermaker Jazz Band’s music was recently featured on the hit Fox TV show “So You Think You Can Dance” for a fantastic Lindy Hop routine.
Paul Cosentino will lead the band on clarinet, and Jennifer McNulty will be featured on sultry and swinging vocals. They will open the weekend Friday night.
In October 2012, vocalist Chelsea Reed brought five of her friends together to play some tunes in a South Philly dining room. Her plan was to form a band that played for swing 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 day, she's been living that dream and couldn't be happier about it.
Now, Chelsea Reed and the Fair Weather Five are at home at swing and blues 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 Dinah Washington, 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.
"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
Chelsea will be playing twice. Friday late-night she will be doing the Blues and Saturday evening she will be performing swing.
Many years ago in a land far away, a band of incredible talent was born. It just so happens that The Fried Bananas was born that year as well. The spot: Shawn’s living room. The event: a 30th birthday celebration. The reason: to make beautiful music together. Since then, The Fried Bananas have traveled the country with a single mission – to swing harder than a 5-year-old at recess and, more importantly, to make people dance!
The band’s co-founders, Shawn Hershey and Josh Fialkoff are also dancers at heart (and on the floor). In fact, here’s an embarrassing video of Josh (don’t tell him we put this here) and one of Shawn Hershey that demonstrates what it looks like when someone actually knows how to dance. And so, every Susie Q, every Boogie Back, every Tranky Doo, everything these guys learned about shaking it was bottled up and fed to The Fried Bananas. To this day, both Josh and Shawn make their living selling bottled dance moves to people who’ve lost the groove, and playing music for people who are so spectacular it hurts our hearts to even think about. They will play a blues set Saturday late night and a Swing set Sunday night.
Last year's reviews were fantastic so we are really excited to once again have Paul Cosentino and the Hot Metal Swing Orchestra. This 14-piece big band made its debut last year at Pitt Stop Lindy Hop 16 especially for us lindy hoppers! The band will concentrate on music from the “Big 4 Big Bands:” Basie, Ellington, Shaw and Goodman, with some other greats as well.
The Hot Metal Swing Orchestra will feature Paul Cosentino on clarinet—leading the way on the Goodman and Shaw transcriptions in his unique and inimitable style. Trombonist Jeff Bush is co-musical director and slide soloist. Jeff is an alumnus of the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra and also was lead trombonist with the Harry Connick Big Band. Jennifer McNulty will bring you some wonderful vocals made famous by Helen Forrest and other great singers.
Paul and Jeff have put together an incredible big band library of tunes that will keep you jumpin’ all night long! You’ll hear plenty of swinging riffs that you know and love, as well as some arrangements of classics you may have never before heard performed live!
Don't miss this fantastic big band as we take you back when "Swing was King." The band will play Sunday Afternoon.
Alcina has been living swing professionally since 2007 - teaching, DJing, and performing - and loves every minute of it. She regularly DJs at local Lindy and Balboa events in Montreal, as well as the occasional international gig, and is excited to be back at PittStop this year. When she's not sitting at the DJ booth, you'll catch her out on the dance floor, so be sure to ask her for a dance.
Suzanne started out ballroom dancing (WHAT?!) in South Carolina in 2004 and continued with it through college, competing and teaching. After some nudging from a friend, she went swing dancing for the first time in 2014 and was completely addicted from the very first swing out! Soon after, she began traveling for lindy events. Suzanne started djing in November of 2014 as DJ Suzy-Q, and hasn’t looked back since. Her sets are playful and sure to get you swinging out hard! Since she moved to the DC area, she’s been enjoying djing at the Jam Cellar, the DC Balboa Club, and Back Room Blues. You may have caught one of her sets at Holy City Blues, School of Hard Knox, Lindy Focus, or DCLX. She can’t wait to be a part of Pitt Stop Lindy Hop! Photo credit: Jerry Almonte
Born a block outside the district, Mike Marcotte has called DC his home most of his life. He started swing dancing under the tutelage of Donna Barker back in 1998, and it wasn't long before he was trying his luck behind the DJbooth learning from Rayned Wiles at k2. Highlights over the years include being the head DJ at ILHC, spinning late into the night at Lindy Focus, BluesSHOUT in Chicago, Frankie95, and pressing play in every near and dear DCLX. In addition to DJing often at Jam Cellar on Tuesdays, Mike is also one of the founding members of Capital Blues, and you’re likely to find him at the Back Room any given Thursday.
Originally beginning with ballroom dancing, Tim was quickly drawn to the more social (and fun) aspects of lindy hop, balboa, and blues dancing. He soon began contributing through DJing, teaching, and volunteering on the PittStop committee, where he's been the housing coordinator for the past 6 years. Make sure he doesn't spend all his time organizing and coordinating things this year - ask him for a dance!
Photo credit: Hank Pajak