"Swing in the Fall" Series
& the Damfino Players
Hosted by Karen & Michael
Dance lessons in Front & Back Studios (included with admission)
Lisa Gonick & the Damfino Players continue our second annual “Swing in the Fall” dances with their hot jazz, swing, and blues styles. “Swing in the Fall” is Ashkenaz’s two-month series of swing dances with lessons taking place every Thursday in October and November. It covers the gamut from classic big band sounds to jump blues and New Orleans R&B. Discounted series passes are available. The series concludes with a Saturday night party with Lavay Smith & Her Red Hot Skillet Lickers on November 26!
Each night starts at 7 pm with a choice of beginning/intermediate dance lessons with Karen & Michael or a guest teacher (included in the ticket price), followed by the evening’s live band at 8 pm. Tonight’s guest teacher is Cheryl McBride, teaching Charleston and swing in the Back Studio. Click here for more about all dance lessons, teachers, and performances in the series!
This may be the Damfino Players’ Ashkenaz debut, but singer Lisa Gonick is a longtime Ashkenaz performer, formerly with SwingThing (her singing partner in that group, Cheryl McBride, may join Damfino Players for a few songs tonight). Damfinos guitarist and banjo player Cliff Moser is also a Swing Thing alum; in fact, he and Gonick have been partners in all sorts of projects over the last 15 years. Their new band allows for a more intimate and diverse feel. Tonight they offer a mix of swing, blues, and New Orleans-style hot jazz. Songs may include “Pennies from Heaven,” “Honeysuckle Rose,” Stompin’ at the Savoy,” and “Blue Skies.”
Gonick and Moser go for everything from early jazz and blues to mid-bop. Think Ukulele Ike with a sweet late ’30s jazz guitar feel. Gonick loves to play ukulele and sing her little heart out from ’20s novelty tunes to ’50s heart-wrenching ballads. Moser’s creative guitar playing mixes technical wizardry with silly quotes. Gonick says, “We love dancers so even when it’s just the two of us, we try to make it so you can’t stop movin’ your feet.” However, tonight the Damfinos are at least a sextet (with a guest or two thrown in at no extra charge): banjo player and guitarist Jeff Green, reeds player Jamison Smeltz, bassist Kurt Ribak, and pianist Virginia Tichenor.