BAND

MICHAEL GAMBLE AND THE RHYTHM SERENADERS

Michael Gamble and the Rhythm Serenaders are a hard swinging and stylistically faithful ensemble created in the mold of the late 1930’s, early 1940’s dance band. Their sound is characterized by an aggressive four-on-the-floor time-feel, thick & riffy horn arrangements, and an eclectic songbook that touches on the sweet and sentimental as well as the hot and bothered. Typically the band plays either as a Sextet or Octet, and each version of the group explores different avenues of the classic repertoire. Bandleader Michael Gamble’s 15+ years in the international swing scene inform every aspect of the band’s repertoire and taste.

FRIDAY – Serenaders Sextet feat. Laura Windley

The Sextet specializes in careful transcriptions and subtle adaptations of The Benny Goodman Sextet, with thoughtful forays into the small combos Duke Ellington, Count Basie, and Artie Shaw. The many famous sidemen and alumni of those various bands are given plenty of love as well. With Laura Windley featured on vocals, the band also explores the wonderful songbook left behind by Billie Holiday during her years with Brunswick, where she and Teddy Wilson pulled together some of the hardest swinging players to bring to life some of the greatest pop tunes ever written.

SATURDAY – Serenaders Octet feat. Laura Windley

The Octet performs arrangements that were popularized not by the large orchestras or small combos, but the many medium-sized outfits that worked during the time such as those led by Fletcher Henderson, the Coleman Hawkins All Stars, various Duke Ellington and Lionel Hampton side groups, the Dickie Wells and Willie Bryant orchestras, and more. They dig up material that will be instantly familiar to vintage music aficionados and swing dancers even if it never made it to the Greatest Hits compilations of the day.

DJs

BRAD NATHANSON – CHARLOTTE, NC

Brad had been dancing for over a decade before he began DJing for swing and blues dances around his home town of Charlotte, NC. Since then he has been named the resident DJ for GottaSwing Charlotte, and has played at many events around town including at the Mint Museum, UNC Charlotte, Queens University, and the Taste of Charlotte festival. This year he has DJed at Backwater Blues (Huntsville, AL), Southbound Blues (Nashville, TN), Richmond Lindy Exchange, (Richmond, VA), Live Love Lindy (Winston Salem, NC) and was a swing and blues DJ at the Canadian Swing Championships in Montreal.
“I love finding new music,” Brad said recently in an interview with himself. “There’s no greater thrill than watching dancers scurry across the floor because they just haaaaave to find someone to dance with. Hey, watch where you’re putting that microphone!”

KEVIN KIM – ATLANTA, GA

Kevin decided to try DJing because he wanted to dance to particular songs he discovered and enjoyed, and thought other people might like them too. Now, you can find him in the regular DJ rotation at swing and blues dances in Atlanta. You’ll hear him play a little bit of everything during one of his sets, from the chunky, gritty sounds of New Orleans to the hard hitting, hard swinging tunes from Kansas City styles of jazz. Kevin has been invited to DJ at events across the South East, happy to share his musical discoveries with all dancers.

DAVE BARRY – RICHMOND, VA

Dave first cut his DJ chops at the Mobtown Ballroom in Baltimore under the stressful and terrifying tutelage of Michael Seguin and Sarah Sullivan. Completing the circle of life, he now runs the Jazz Den in Richmond, Virginia so he can yell at his own DJs. Dave’s music can only be described as having “oomph” starting with classic swing era and ending with a soulful twist. He is not associated with the humor columnist from the Miami Herald but is happy to do book signings.

BENJY THOMAS – ATLANTA, GA

Benjy will help keep the floor going at the CCS blues room. He fell in love with blues played live in juke joints long before he discovered that blues dancing was a thing. He eventually found blues dance, and has been enjoying it ever since. Benjy has been known to spin blues around the Southeast at ATLX, GVLX, Sweet Georgia Blues, Bittersweet Blues, and Swinganooga, as well as at Atlanta’s monthly blues dances: Last Call Blues and Terminus. He loves a wide range of blues sub-genres and enjoys giving dancers plenty to play with by guiding his sets through a mixture of blues styles, periods, and instrumentation. Benjy is involved in the formative stages of Blues Dance ATL, which aims to nurture vernacular blues.

ANDY NGUYEN – CHARLOTTE, NC

As a swing DJ, Andy has shared his collection of swing music with both local and regional dancers in the Southeast, most recently at the Charleston Lindy Exchange. His love for swing music also comes with a voracious appetite for jazz history. Knowing the stories behind the bands or the songs gives him a deeper understanding of music and a clearer vision for his DJ sets. He enjoys jazz music with an authentic root in the swing era, particularly from small combos such as Kansas City Five & Six, The Duke’s Men, Benny Goodman Sextet, and Gramercy Five. Andy strives to provide dancers the full experience of swing era music, playing his favorites – from up-tempo Henderson arrangements, to the laid back Ellington tunes.