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Jen Hodge

"One of Canada's greatest natural resources." - Casey MacGill, swing legend, Seattle, WA

“...swinging so hard, with such taste, and individuality.” - Michael Steinman, JAZZ LIVES, New York, NY

Busy Vancouver-based bass player, bandleader, vocalist, and arranger Jen Hodge is a versatile musician who can be found playing with a wide variety of artists all over the world. When Jen is leading the band, she likes it hot - hard swinging grooves, boisterous New Orleans style horns, cheeky lyrics, intriguing arrangements, plenty of spontaneous fun, and an evident, infectious love for making music. Jen's particular expertise in the arena of traditional jazz and swing music has taken her to stages all over Canada, the USA, China, Spain, France, the UK, and the Caribbean; this summer Jen will be coming to the Seattle Lindy Extravaganza straight from performing for the first time at Herräng Dance Camp in Sweden!

On home turf, Jen can be found leading a band on Wednesday nights at Guilt & Co, a bar in Vancouver’s historic Gastown district, where she has held a regular Wednesday night gig since January 2011. Jen released her latest album, All's Fair in Love and Jazz, in February 2018; it is currently in the top 30 North American College & Community Radio jazz charts, and at the time of writing this ranks as the highest charting self-released title on the list.

 

Aurora Nealand

Aurora Nealand is a sound artist and multi-instrumentalist based in New Orleans, LA . Nealand has become a prominent force in the New Orleans music scene since she first arrived in 2004 and is the founder and leader of the traditional jazz band, The Royal Roses. Nealand's other musical projects span from her original music project and installation ensemble, The Monocle, to the Panorama Jazz Band, Redrawblak Trio and an avid devottee of the musical mystery band, Rory Danger & the Danger Dangers. Nealand has toured as a featured artist to national & international festivals including Istanbul Jazz Festival, Copenhagen Jazz Festival, MPB Jazz Festival (Natal, Brazil), Lincoln Center, Summerstage NYC, European Swing Dance Championships (Stockholm) & The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival.

She has been awarded residencies at the New Orleans Contemporary Arts Center, the MacDowell Colony, and the Atlantic Center for the Arts. She regularly 4 SLX 2018 Website Copy Welcome, Venues, Competitions, Artists (Jen, Aurora, Jonathan, Rebecca, Mariana) works with Found Sound Nation -an organization which facilitates international musical collaboration and sonic diplomacy- and helped organize the Dosti Project, a collaborative residency between Indian, Pakistani and U.S. musicians. Nealand was voted "Best Female Performer” (2016 Gambit awards), and "Best Traditional Jazz Band (The Royal Roses)" in the 2015 & 2017 Big Easy Awards. She is also the co-founder of SONO (Sound Observatory New Orleans) which facilitates workshops of new music in the New Orleans region. 

 

Jonathan Doyle

Jonathan Doyle renowned clarinetist, saxophonist, composer, and arranger Jonathan Doyle lives in Port Townsend in the Pacific Northwest. He still spends time in Chicago, Austin, and on the road. Jonathan briefly attended DePaul’s School of Music in Chicago, where he studied under Mark Colby and Susan Cook. He left school to pursue a full-time career in music during the neo-swing movement of the mid-90s, playing with the Mighty Blue Kings and then the Four Charms. He has also worked with Chicago’s emerging improvisers such as Josh Berman, Jason Adasiewicz, and Design Flaw, and developed an interest in country blues and jug band music playing with the Wabash Jug Band. In 2004, Mr. Doyle moved to Austin to pursue his love of acoustic and roots music afresh.

After a brief stint with the Asylum Street Spankers, he went on to freelance in Central Texas’ vibrant traditional jazz, swing, and western swing scene, playing with well-established acts such as Willie Nelson and Asleep at the Wheel, and the Jim Cullum Jazz Band, as well being a part of many fine local bands such as Thrift Set Orchestra, Albanie & her Fellas, Stan Smith and the Jazz Pharaohs, Aunt Ruby's Sweet Jazz Babies, East Side Dandies, White Ghost Shivers, Whit Smith's Hot Jazz Caravan, The Giant Three and his own projects The Jonathan Doyle Quintet / Swingtet.

His time in New Orleans introduced him to the hot jazz and traditional blues band, Tuba Skinny. And his connection to Chicago led to playing with the amazing Fat Babies as well as guitar maestro, Joel Paterson. More recently he has started performing with Naomi & Her Handsome Devils and Hal Smith's Swing Central and the Casey MacGill Orchestra!

Jonathan is committed to crafting original music as well studying the American musical traditions. He strives to organize and be a part of bands whose music is rooted, yet distinct. And to play for listeners and dancers anywhere they'll have him! 

 

Rebecca Kilgore

Rebecca Kilgore regularly performs worldwide at jazz festivals, jazz parties, and on jazz cruises. She has been a frequent guest on National Public Radio’s ‘Fresh Air’ with Terry Gross, has appeared on ‘A Prairie Home Companion’, and with Michael Feinstein at Carnegie Hall. The Rebecca Kilgore Quartet (formerly known as BED) was a popular favorite on the jazz festival circuit: with Eddie Erickson (guitar/banjo/voice), Dan Barrett (trombone), and Joel Forbes (bass). She has also performed with the Statesmen Of Jazz, dedicated to perpetuating the art of jazz for future generations. Other venues. New York: Feinstein’s at the Regency; New York: Birdland; San Francisco: The Plush Room at the York Hotel; Oakland, CA: Piedmont Pianos; Culver City, CA: The Jazz Bakery; Fullerton, CA: Steamers Jazz Club; Phoenix, AZ: The Nash; Madison, NJ: Shanghai Jazz; LA: The Westin at LAX; Toledo, OH: Murphy’s Place; Cleveland Heights, OH: Nighttown; Ann Arbor, MI: The Firefly Club; Cincinnati, OH: The Blue Wisp; Southampton, UK: The Concorde Club; Sherman Oaks, CA: Spazio’s.

Rebecca is honored to have been inducted (in 2010) to the Oregon Music Hall of Fame and to the Jazz Society of Oregon’s Hall Of Fame, and to have been invited to perform at New York’s Mabel Mercer Cabaret Convention for three years at Town Hall and Lincoln Center. She was the guest of honor at the 2013 Roswell (New Mexico) Jazz Festival, and honored as a Jazz Legend at the San Diego Jazz Party in 2016. 

 

Marina Albero

Marina Albero is a master of the piano, psalterium (a Mediterranean Hammered Dulcimer), vibraphone, and composition, Marina Albero is a working musician based in Seattle, leading the Marina Albero Project. Marina started playing music on stages as a child with her family while they toured all around the world playing traditional music and creating new shows. In her early years she studied in Barcelona’s Conservatory (El Bruc) and later in La Havana (ISA), where she finished her classical piano degree with the great professor and pianist Mrs. Teresa Junco. Since then she has been researching and playing many different music styles such as: jazz, flamenco, early music, andalusie, latin (son & latin jazz). She loves composing and improvising with a wide personal language carved by her colorful background.

She has played and recorded with several well known musicians and bands including L’Arpeggiata, Chano Dominguez, Pepe Habichuela, La Folata, Mariona Sagarra, Barbarito Torres, Llibert Fortuny, Glen Velez, Lori Cotler, Carlos Saura and Ars 6 SLX 2018 Website Copy Welcome, Venues, Competitions, Artists (Jen, Aurora, Jonathan, Rebecca, Mariana) Longa.

Since September 2014, she has enjoyed living in Seattle with her musical family and has been adding to the music scene. Here in Seattle, she has been piano chair at Teatro Zinzanni in several shows and has been invited to present her music at the Ballard Jazz Festival, Earshot Jazz Festival and KNKX live studios and Jazz Northwest. The Marina Albero Project features some of the finest musicians like Hans Teuber, Evan Flory-Barnes, D’Vonne Lewis, Jeff Busch, Jeff Johnson, Ben Thomas, Chuck Deardorf and Jose Martinez.

 

Ben Hunter & Joe Seamons

Ben Hunter & Joe Seamons are songster revivalists who perform acoustic blues, field hollers, fiddle & banjo breakdowns, and early jazz that delights audiences in concerts and workshops nationwide. For seven years, their tours have extended their work as teachers and community organizers in their home of Seattle, Washington. With their unique integration of performance, education and modern-day folklore, this duo redefines the role of a songster in the 21st century. In 2016, they earned 1st place in the International Blues Challenge’s solo/duo category. In July, they released a new album with harmonica master Phil Wiggins entitled “Black & Tan Ball.”

Ben and Joe have been playing together for almost 7 years, the last 5 of which sent them to the Port Townsend Acoustic Blues Festival, learning at the feet of the elders of the acoustic blues tradition. They found an affinity in the many branches that tied into the blues and created this duo as a way to explore these branches. Their musical kinship and sense of joy in interpreting this music is evident and was the basis of an invitation from Dom Flemons (formerly of the Carolina Chocolate Drops) to tour and record for his album Prospect Hill. Rather than thinking of their music as blues, it’s best to situate Ben and Joe as American songsters. A songster traditionally refers to an artist whose repertoire is much broader than the old blues, and spans many of the genres that Ben and Joe inhabit. Uncle Dave Macon, Robert Johnson, and Charlie Patton are classic examples of songsters. Their music hews to the rough-and-tumble collisions of musical inspirations from the early 20th century; music that paved the way for everything we enjoy today.

In January of 2016, the Washington Blues Society sent Ben and Joe to the 26th annual International Blues Challenge in Memphis, TN. There, they were awarded 1st place—out of 94 solo/duo acts representing 16 countries—for their unique blend of a cappella field hollers, fiddle & banjo breakdowns, and duet distillations of early jazz.

In 2017, they toured Europe with Phil Wiggins, released a new album with Phil, "Black & Tan Ball," and began to put the finishing touches on the new community venue where the trio recorded together, South Seattle's Black & Tan Hall.

 

Gail Pettis

A native of Henderson, Kentucky, Gail grew up in Gary, Indiana, surrounded by healthcare professionals. Yet there was also music in the family tree: grandfather Arthur Pettis was a blues singer and guitarist who recorded for Victor Records in Memphis in 1928 and for Brunswick in Chicago in 1930 and grandmother, Ninevah played piano around Chicago. Along with her sister, Gail sang classical music and hymns at a local Presbyterian church and continued in other school and church choirs in later years. After moving to Seattle in 1996, Gail found herself immersed in the West Coast Swing community but when an injury took her off the dance floor she began looking for other creative outlets, including a jazz workshop led by Seattle saxophonist Darren Motamedy. In this class, Gail was delighted to discover within jazz similar opportunities to interact with the music and with fellow musicians. With Motamedy’s encouragement, she continued to pursue her new passion by participating in jam sessions and also through private study.

Gail enjoys interacting with listeners as well; her live performances have been described by Earshot jazz as going “…from strength to strength, performing a winning, crowd-involving style of vocal jazz.”. As artist-in-residence at the Amersfoort Jazz Festival in the Netherlands in 2006, she was featured artist with the New Manhattan Big Band, as well as with Eddie Conard and the Dutch Jazz Cats. Nationally she has performed at the Gene Harris Jazz Festival in Boise, ID, and Jazz at the River Festival in Eagle, ID. Internationally she has toured to Russia performing in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Novosibirsk, Ufa, Ivanova and Perm as well as to Kobe, Japan where she won First Place of the Seattle-Kobe Female Jazz Vocalist Audition.

Whether traveling, performing closer to home or spending time in the recording studio, Gail continues to value is the freedom of personal expression she finds in music. Emotion is the the currency of her jazz. Over the years, she has learned that wearing your heart on your sleeve is not always the best approach to every life situation, but within the context of music, vulnerability always feels right.