Andrew Scott's Pocket Five
The members of the Pocket Five have been playing for dancers locally for aaages, in this combination and in bands like the Basement Big Band, the Cope Street Parade, and the Finer Cuts. But the Pocket Five is custom-designed for lindy hop, mostly because Andrew started taking lindy hop classes and decided THIS was his sort of jazz. And we're lucky it's our sort of jazz too.
What sort of music do they play?
Solid, swinging jazz. Andrew plays piano, the drummer Alex is one of Andrew Dickeson's former students (!!) and the brass and reeds are recruited from jazz-loving young locals. They play solid, swinging jazz: four solid beats to the bar. They know Basie, they know Hamp, they know Ellington. And they love them.
The Blue Rhythm Band
Andrew Dickeson is our live music manager for the weekend, heading up the Blue Rhythm Band, currently one of Australia's favourite jazz bands. Andrew and his musicians have been working closely with dancers for a year now, figuring out what works for us also makes them happy. They have played music for lindy hop, balboa, and solo jazz contests, they've played for social dances, they've worked with tap dancers in improvised shows, and they've played live music for performances.
What makes them so great for dancing?
Andrew is a jazz history scholar, and he knows what musicians in the swing era did to make such great music. As a drummer, he understands the importance of a good rhythm section, and as a band leader, he knows when to rein in the band, and when to let them fly.
The musicians in this band all really enjoy playing for dancers. We even attract musicians from interstate, who've found like minded people in the lindy hop community. And that is what makes this band so great for dancing: they love the same things we do.
The Unity Hall Jazz Band
This band has held down the longest running jazz gig in Sydney for 41 years, and they know what they like. They like hot jazz, they liked a rowdy, crowded room, and they like a good time.
Though there's a good dance floor, this is a band's gig, and the music is the thing. This is drinking and talking music. This is shouting and laughing music. This is dancing music. It is hot jazz in the New Orleans revivalist vein. There is a grand piano, a handful of regular musicians, and always a few guests.