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WE ARE EXCITED TO WELCOME BACK

THE RHYTHM SERENADERS

- FEATURING LAURA WINDLEY -

THE CLASSIC RHYTHM SERENADERS SEXTET

 

During the Big Band era, most bandleaders had smaller, looser ensembles they played with for various smaller gigs and recording sessions, late-night bar shows, and let-your-hair-down kinda sets. Few leaders put as much work and refinement into their small combos as they did their orchestras, but chief among those who did was Benny Goodman. His small group consisted of perfectly orchestrated dynamics, tight riffing, and clean but aggressive, forward-tilt arrangements that were perfect for dancing -- which is why the Rhythm Serenaders proudly recreate *most* of the Benny Goodman Sextet's recorded legacy over the course of an evening show. Appreciative musical nods are also given to the small group works of Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Lionel Hampton, Roy Eldridge, Artie Shaw, and especially the many All-Star groups fronted by Bille Holiday. The Classic Rhythm Serenaders Sextet recreates this rare, intricate, and explosive music specifically for a dance floor full of discerning and inspired swing dancers.

 

THE VANGUARD RHYTHM SERENADERS OCTET

 

This is an eight piece group designed to take the existing punch of the band and reinforce it's raw power with a few extra horns, bal-asting it out into the solar system. With this ensemble they are able to bring to life some of the earlier, crunchier big band sounds of Fletcher Henderson, Bennie Moten, and yes, more Ellington. Expect a scrappy, large sound that nonetheless retains a sense of vintage class and timeless style, that will keep those feet shufflin' all night long.

DJs

TRAVIS WHETMAN

HEAD DJ

I fell in love with swing music early in my dancing life and have been collecting it ever since. I’ve been a regular Seattle DJ since 2003 and I focus on swing music from the 1930s and 1940s and while I’m comfortable playing songs for many styles of dancing I really love the wide range of tempos I get to play at Balboa events. Away from Seattle I have been a featured DJ at events like Lindy Focus, All Balboa Weekend, Herrang Dance Camp, Rocky Mountain Balboa Blowout, Camp Hollywood, and The California Balboa Classic. I’m super excited to DJ at Bal-ast Off and to visit Huntsville for the very first time!

CODY HALL

DJ

Cody began swing dancing in 2013, quickly falling in love with the dance’s playfulness and community. He started playing music in his local scene in 2014, becoming the head DJ for Huntsville’s weekly Thursday Night Swing a year later. His focus on flow and energy keeps the floor full while playing a wide range of tempos and styles. Splanky is still his favorite song after first hearing it as a baby dancer, and he is convinced that Balboa was secretly developed by people dancing exclusively to Artie Shaw. Cody regularly DJs at Huntsville’s weekly and monthly dances, and he is excited to return as a DJ for his second Bal-Ast Off!

LAURA WINDLEY

DJ & VOCALIST

Laura began DJ’ing in Greenville, NC in 2001 for the yet-to-be-formed ECU Swing Dance Club, chosen by default because she had the most swing CDs (which, at the time, was about 10). Since then, her music collection has expanded greatly to become a joyous selection of swinging music. She loves female vocalists, bouncy instrumental tunes, songs with lyrics that make her laugh, and, above all, hot trombone solos.

KATE HEDIN

DJ

Being a conservatory-trained musician, Kate has a deep understood knowledge of elegant catfights. She also has a great appreciation for jazz music. Kate is a regular DJ at Washington DC’s The Jam Cellar, and at swing dance events across the nation. Her ear for music is in such high demand that she has arranged competition music for national events like The International Lindy Hop Championships, Rocky Mountain Balboa Blowout, and Music City Shuffle. Kate favors 1930s and 40s swing, like Chick Webb and Benny Goodman.