Sunday, July 21

Benefit for Larry and Stan!

Roots of Rhythm & Swing Festival
Lavay Smith
& Her Red Hot Skillet Lickers
Steve Lucky
& the Rhumba Bums
Quinn DeVeaux

Swing dance lesson with Nick & Leah

Following April’s wild Cajun-zydeco all-star blowout to aid two Ashkenaz staffers shot during a robbery last spring, the Queen of Swing, Lavay Smith has rounded up the hottest swing dance musicians for today’s Roots of Rhythm and Swing Festival: In addition to her band, Lavay Smith & Her Red Hot Skillet Lickers, performers include Steve Lucky & the Rhumba Bums, and Quinn DeVeaux & the Quinntettes. All three acts are Ashkenaz favorites; Smith and DeVeaux tore it up on our stage during the Ashkenaz 40th birthday celebration in March.

Stylish singer Lavay Smith & Her Red Hot Skillet Lickers keep adding new elements to their timeless blues-jazz-swing repertoire, including new songs as well as rotating the hits and forgotten gems from their three CDs. The most recent release, “Miss Smith to You!” provides fresh takes on classics for the dance floor, including “Miss Brown to You,” “I'm Not Evil,” and “When the Saints Go Marching In.” Since 1989, before swing became a national craze, she and her band (led by co-founder and keyboardist Chris Siebert) have been making music as sharp and irresistible as her period costumes that recall the pinup girls of the Forties. Two decades later they are still the Bay Area’s hottest swing attraction, steeped in not just the songs but also the feel that makes them the real deal.

In a four-star CD review, DownBeat magazine wrote: “The Rhumba Bums abide by Cab Calloway’s advice: ‘Live what’s in your soul and sing your friggin’ heart out.’” Steve Lucky & the Rhumba Bums have been one of the West Coast’s most popular, to say nothing of most entertaining and fun, bands since composer-pianist-leader Steve Lucky assembled the Bums back in 1994 in the early days of the swing dance revival. Featuring guitarist and singer Miss Carmen Getit, the Rhumba Bums continue to play and sing just about the most irresistible dance tunes extant, mixing some well-known ’40s and ’50s jump blues and swing charts with rare and nearly-forgotten gems that deserve to be resurrected.

Quinn DeVeaux is best known for leading his Blue Beat Review, but today he drops in with his guitar and amazing voice, plus the lush harmonies of his backing singers the Quinntettes (Melanie Blythe, Latriece Love and Ahsa Ti). They present a dance-oriented mix of modern soul, gospel, and folk with some rootsy blues thrown in for balance. Most of DeVeaux’s music is original, some from his CDs, “Lions on Lakes” and the new “Under Covers.”

Once again, this is a musical and community celebration to benefit staffers Stan Ellis and Larry Chin during their recovery from the robbery and shooting at Ashkenaz on March 15, during the club’s 40th birthday celebration of “Dancing for Peace.” Donations will be accepted on behalf of the victims of Ashkenaz's recent robbery to help and support them through their recoveries. Faced with only the second incidence of violence in its forty-year history, Ashkenaz's commitment to our mission has never been stronger!

Doors at 3:30 pm
Lesson at 4:00 pm
Show at 5:00 pm