Charleston Lindy Exchange - CHEX 9: May 19-22, 2016

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Bands & DJ's from CHEX 2015

Chelsea Reed and the Fair Weather Five! from Philadelphia, PA


In October 2012, vocalist Chelsea Reed brought five of her friends together to play some tunes in a South Philly dining room. Secretly, her plan was to form a band that played for swing dancers, so she could finally have the chance to sing her favorite songs for an audience that loved early jazz as much as she did. Since that fateful afternoon, those unsuspecting handsome men have comprised the Fair Weather Five: Noah Hocker on trumpet, Chris Oatts on saxophone, Jake Kelberman on guitar, Joe Plowman on bass, and Austin Wagner behind the drums.

Now, over a year later, Chelsea Reed and the Fair Weather Five are at home at swing dances, jazz clubs and concert halls alike. They have played renowned Philadelphia venues like the Kimmel Center and World Cafe Live in addition to touring around the country in a trusty blue van. They love exploring the roots of jazz and finding creative ways to interpret forgotten songs. Drawing upon the influence of artists such as Bessie Smith, Fats Waller, Louis Armstrong and Billie Holiday, Chelsea Reed and the Fair Weather Five bring the intensity and passion of early jazz to every stage they play to put on one heck of a show.

Head on over here for more info and to listen to their music!

The Fried Bananas with Joshua Fialkoff & Shawn Hershey from Philadelphia, PA

Fried Bananas

Louis Armstrong said it best, “The main thing is to live for that audience, ’cause what you’re there for is to please the people.” This is the core belief of this highly acclaimed band, and dancers from events like bluesSHOUT!, Montreal Dance Fest, bluesSHOUT!, Nocturne Blues, Mobtown Ballroom, Mile High Blues, and more are singing (and dancing) their praise:

“First off, they rock. Secondly, the name is no joke: they really lay the heat down and make your nether regions want to jump around.” -Davis Thurber, Montreal Dance Fest founder, teacher and performer

“You wouldn’t believe the amazing feedback we’re getting. I don’t think I’ve ever had such a great response to a band.” -Heidi Fite, bluesSHOUT! founder

The Fried Bananas was first assembled in 2006 under the guidance of co-leaders Shawn Hershey and Josh Fialkoff, who are both dancers themselves. Together they carefully crafted the Bananas’ sound, drawing inspiration from jazz greats like Louis Armstrong, Sidney Bechet, and Dr. Michael White. Since then, this versatile band has evolved to incorporate blues and jazz influences from New Orleans to the Delta, from Chicago to New York City, from the 1900s to today. So whether you’re looking for to swing out or boogie back, for Ballroomin’ or Jookin’, The Fried Bananas has your back, and your dancing shoes.

Head on over here for more info and to listen to their music!

The Perseverance Jazz Band from Philadelphia, PA


Rounding out the CHEX lineup, also from the great city of PHILADELPHIA comes the PERSEVERANCE JAZZ BAND!
Brings youthful exuberance to the traditional jazz repertoire, featuring the masterful vocals of Swedish native Anna Cecilia Ferneborg backed by a tight quartet fronted by bassist Jonathan Davenport. From freewheeling 30’s swing to soulful songs of old New Orleans, Perseverance regularly tours the Eastern US playing concerts, house parties and dance events. Their new album, “Hard Times Come Again No More” has attracted the attention and praise of dancers and DJ’s in Europe, Asia, Australia as well as the US.

Head on over here for more info and to listen to their music!

Mary Kyle Manson from Durham, NC

Mary Kyle Manson

Mary Kyle loved swing music years before finding the swing dance club at Virginia Tech. Now living and dancing in Durham, NC, Mary Kyle DJs local and regional events with fellow enthusiasts of Balboa, Lindy, and Charleston. Like with her wardrobe, she favors vintage and vintage-inspired songs and bands which create that energy and musicality that keeps us all moving on the floor. Most importantly, the number one goal of music and dance is to have fun!

Les J Wardell from Tampa, FL

Les J Wardell

J loves to dance and listen to music that make him want to dance, and he wants you to feel the same way. Some of his favorites are Count, Duke, Sidney Bechet, Ella, and Ray Charles. He wants to make sure every song makes you want to dance. He is a local Dj in Tampa and has DJed for many events such as: ORLX, Dublin Lindy Exchange, SOFLEX, North Star Blues, Bluesalious, Tampa Lindy Exchange. He looks forward to DJ for CHEX and wants you to be prepared to SWING OUT!

Kemper Talley from Knoxville, TN

Kemper Talley

Kemper has been dancing Lindy Hop for three years and DJing two after cutting his teeth in Herrang. Kemper favors music with authentic, historic roots in the Swing Era and believes the DJ should come prepared to adapt to the floor with ideas instead of a playlist. Locally, Kemper served as the head DJ for the Knoxville Swing Dance Association and currently serves as the KSDA President. Outside of DJing, Kemper busks in a swing/Dixieland band, practices the 7 instruments he knows, and teaches local dancers his passion for swing music and dancing. Kemper takes music seriously and is always willing to join a jam or talk about swing. Listening mostly to swing jazz, Kemper is making up for all the time he knew nothing about it.

Kevin Kim from Atlanta, GA

Kevin Kim

Kevin grew up practicing and playing musical instruments, but it was when he started dancing in 2011 that he began listening to music with a new perspective. He admits his interest in DJing was formed out of a purely selfish desire to dance to the music he wanted to dance to. Now, he loves seeing people get up on the floor to move and groove to the tunes he picks. It makes him feel like he's doing something right. Kevin is excited to DJ at CHEX for the first time, and hopes you enjoy what he has to share!

Alex Medlin from Raleigh, NC

Alex Medlin

As a student at the College of Charleston, Alex was introduced to the hard drugs of Lindy Hop and Blues on the streets of Charleston, SC. Though a recent addition to the Raleigh, NC scene, Alex began DJing blues locally in Charleston for two years as part of the the Holy City Blues dance club. She loves to dance, listen to music, and create playlists with a variety of authentic Blues styles that will get the room dancing. You may have caught one of her sets at GVLX, Summertime, Tobacco Road Blues, EBC, Holy City Blues, Statesboro Swings Out, Winter Blues, ORLX, Bring on the Blues, and soon she will be seen at some upcoming events in the South East. She is excited to be DJing and dancing with everyone at CHEX this year.

Dan Repsch and Breanna Perry from Philadelphia, PA and Nashville, TN

Dan Repsch Breanna Perry

Dan and Breanna have been dancing since 2007 and 2006, respectively, and both have loved every minute of it. Dan's enthusiastic teaching methods and Breanna's emphasis on the enjoyment and accessibility of dance couple to produce classes that are focused and fun, and reflect the mix of movement and music that drives their partnership.

Also, Dan Repsch and Breanna Perry will be teaching the 6pm dance lesson at Prohibition Bar & Grill on Sunday, plus DJing between the band sets.

Head on over here for more info on Dan Repsch.

Head on over here for more info on Breanna Perry.