Stumptown Swing – Saturday March 11, 2017 at 8:00pm
Portland’s #1 Swing Dance Party Band!
Stumptown Swing takes audiences back to 1920’s Paris, when gypsies with guitars, violins and upright basses made the leap from French musette to American “hot jazz” and kept Parisians dancing to this evocative new sound.
Tim Connell (mandolin and voice) and Mike Burdette (guitar) of Rio Con Brio formed Stumptown Swing after nearly a decade of playing pick-up gigs with Portland’s best acoustic string musicians. They snapped up the hottest upright bass player in town, Keith Brush (Stolen Sweets, Pete Krebs Trio, Blue Cranes) and are proud to feature their long-time friend and collaborator, the absolutely pyrotechnic violinist, Ben Blechman.
Named after their hometown, Portland “Stumptown” Oregon, the quartet is closely associated with the network of Lindy Hop, Balboa and Swing Dance clubs that have made Portland a major center of the Swing Dance revival. They are in demand as a live band for the almost nightly swing dance events throughout Portland. In addition to Stumptown’s thumping dance-oriented set, the group frequently performs a concert set featuring a wider variety of tempos and styles, appearing at both jazz and world music festivals.
Stumptown Swing released its debut album in 2014 and has been performing on concert stages and dancehalls throughout the Pacific Northwest. They are available for both private events and concert series – please sign the mailing list to hear about future shows, or contact us to book your own Stumptown Swing event.
“A joyous, vibrant and emotive collection of fine and heartfelt performances. Stumptown Swing qualifies as one of the year’s best jazz recordings.
With this recording, Tim Connell has announced his arrival as a world-class mandolinist. His technique on the mandolin has never been better and he coaxes tone by the buckets out of his instrument.
Ben Blechman’s solos swing and soar through the tunes that alternate between sweetness and melancholy and are always perfectly rendered.” – Mandolin Magazine, April 2014
“…a great collection of continental swing, samba and standards…rich chord progressions, nice melodies and comfy grooves. Mike and Tim are the right cats for the job!!” – Don Stiernberg, Chicago, IL
MBRASCATU – Saturday April 8, 2017 at 8:00pm
A musical product of the creative melting pot of Portland, Mbrascatu is an indie rock band that draws from diverse European and American roots to create a unique signature sound.
Blending together dynamics ranging from delicate to explosive; expressive Italian lyrics; hook-laden melodies; inventive arrangements; and energetic rhythms to dance to; the band has performed extensively throughout the Pacific Northwest, delighting audiences at the hottest music venues, outdoor festivals, bars, clubs and local radio stations.
Andrea Algieri: Guitar, Vocals, Songwriting. Dylan Dean: Violin, Viola. John Sabestinas: Electric Guitar, Banjo, Ukulele, Lap Steel. Tim Anderson: Bass. Mark Powers: Drums.
“Great news, Oregon: we can visit Italy without ever leaving the Pacific Northwest. Local Portland band, Mbrascatu, lives right here and we can take a trip to the other side of the world simply by listening to their newest savory album, Tempo. Bandleader, Andrea Algieri puts his heart and passion into every song he writes and sings on this album. The other band members- Johnny Sabestinas, Dylan Dean, Dan Sullivan and Lalo Esparza- lend their individual musical energies that also take the music to a new level of appreciation. Sabestinas plays an impressive array of different instruments ranging from ukulele to mandolin to electric guitar. Dean plays his fiddle in a way where you can feel the warmth of his ever-present smile in each song. This is the band’s second offering and although it doesn’t include as many ballads as their self-titled album, you will enjoy the rocking goodness found in almost every track. The tittle track will have you dancing and singing along after just one listen. So, go ahead. Pour yourself a little limoncello, eat a few olives and figs, hit ‘play’ and you are all set. Ciao!” – DENNISE KOALCZYK Oregon Music News Magazine. December 2014
Piedmont Melody Makers – Saturday June 24, 2017 at 8:00pm
The Piedmont Melody Makers play old-time, country and bluegrass music and make no apologies for it. They take their name from the Piedmont region of eastern North Carolina, where three-quarters of the band now reside. One-quarter of the band is a known vagabond.
Cliff Hale is from West Virginia and that says something right there. He likes beer and ramps and collects all sorts of wild mushrooms. He’s fit and lean, keeps his hair pretty short and sings all them other singers into the next county. He puts fear into a man’s heart and lust into a woman’s when he sings, because that’s what happens when you are a profound blend of Hank Williams, Lefty Frizzell and Carter Stanley all in one voice.
Chris Brashear comes from the state that begat Mark Twain and John Hartford, but he isn’t nearly as funny as the first and he never learned to fiddle and dance at the same time (like the second). He does, however, play the fiddle pretty passably, as well as the guitar and mandolin, and sings a pure, clear tenor that would make Alfalfa weep. He’ll also pen a good song or two for every Melody Maker’s set, with no apparent navel-gazing anywhere to be found. There are no signs of therapy in his future — or his past, for that matter.
Alice Gerrard a 2015 Grammy nominee for her album, Follow the Music – is the agile force, the gravitas, that keeps the Piedmont Melody Makers from being just good hitting baseball with the occasional base stealing. She’s the grand-slam, thank you Ma’am. Alice is a kind of bluegrass and old-time music royalty, establishing herself in the music world by her famous duet with Hazel Dickens. She writes songs and she sings ‘em with all the swoops and bluesy twirls – that is all soul and no flash. She knows what she is doing and she taught you too, even if you don’t know it. Pay attention.
Jim Watson sings and plays mandolin, bass and guitar. This irrepressible reprobate is still out there playing music after catapulting into international stardom with the original Red Clay Ramblers and then orbiting planet Earth with Robin and Linda Williams. He is the heir-apparent to Charlie Poole as THE exponent of North Carolina hillbilly music, and Charlie could not have chosen a more worthy successor. He is the senior male member of this great conflagration, but don’t be fooled: he can put both of them other boys under the table in the weight room. So there.