Check this star-studded lineup!
After Midnight - Denver
This year launches the third decade of this incredible group’s delivering the spot-on sound of the Benny Goodman Sextet plus equally authentic renditions of Artie Shaw, Woody Herman and other greats of the Swing Era. Their popularity with Evergreen audiences has earned them “Festival Mainstay” status, and we’re delighted to have the love affair continue.www.aftermidnightjazzband.com
Carl Sonny Leyland Trio - Southern California
Talk about popular demand! One of the most requested groups ever to appear in the Festival, these three mega-talents deliver a range of boogie-woogie, barrelhouse and blues that is certain to have audiences rocking again this year. Each is a genuine star in today’s jazz galaxy, so it’s no surprise that when they get together, the music is over the top! If you’ve never heard them, you’re in for an enormous treat. It’s a genuine pleasure to welcome them back to Evergreen.
Hal Smith's On The Levee - New Orleans
Drummer and longtime Festival favorite Hal Smith (he appeared in the very first EJF) created this band in late 2017 as a tribute to the great Kid Ory’s Creole Jazz Band. The musicians he assembled include several with strong ties to their Ory counterparts, and all are absolutely top talents. Even the band’s name relates – On The Levee was a San Francisco club owned by Kid Ory 1958-61. This is going to be something special!
Holland-Coots Jazz Quintet - Nashville
Formed in late 2017, this talent-heavy group has quickly become a major attraction across the country. Led by piano great Brian Holland and Grammy-winning drummer Danny Coots, the swingin’ sound of these elite pros is a guaranteed listening treat. They were a huge hit at the 2018 Festival, and inviting them back was an easy decision.
Hot Tomatoes Dance Orchestra - Denver
Dust off your dancing shoes – or at least your toe-tappers – and get after it with with one of the top swing bands anywhere. With their authentic re-creations of such Swing Era greats as Glenn Miller, Tommy Dorsey, Duke Ellington and Count Basie, the Hot Tomatoes have been creating happy dancers and listeners for over 35 years. Their individual resumes include work with Ella Fitzgerald, Woody Herman, Mel Torme and Clark Terry among many other big names. These guys are good!
Joe Smith and The Spicy Pickles - Denver
Since its creation in 2013, this young, exciting band has gained an enthusiastic following, particularly with swing dancers in Denver and across the country. They pride themselves on being true to the genre, and their marvelous sound, authentic dress and unbridled energy have made them a Festival favorite since their first appearance in 2016. Add the fact that they’re all in their twenties and thirties, and you have another reason to get excited about them. Enjoy!
Lance Acker-Andrew Vogt Jazztet - Colorado
Top reed players Lance Acker and Andrew Vogt lead this marvelous collaboration assembled just for the Festival. Front Range fans will recognize both, along with Festival veterans Dean Ross on bass and Don Grove on drums. In from Las Vegas to round-out the group is the incredibly gifted Chris Calabrese on piano, who was with us in 2014 as part of the Big Mama Sue Trio. With talent like this, anything can happen!
LAPOMPE – Denver
Making their Festival debut, LAPOMPE combines rustic gypsy swing with vintage blues and soulful originals to deliver a unique sound and style. The band has been nominated by multiple publications for best jazz band on the Front Range and won the 2017 Producers Choice award at the Westword Music Showcase. Their distinctive sound is sure to add a special dimension to the Festival, and we’re pleased to welcome them.
Queen City Jazz Band with Wende Harston - Denver
For over 60 years, this treasure of the Queen City of the Plains has been thrilling audiences on both sides of the Atlantic with their big, authentic New Orleans sound. The musicians have changed over the years, of course, but the band’s commitment to quality has been unwavering. Wende Harston is regarded as one of today’s great jazz vocalists, reminding many of a modern-day Bessie Smith. If she starts talking about a tune’s history, pay attention! Their Sunday morning gospel service is not to be missed.
The Poudre River Irregulars - Fort Collins, Colorado
Known for their exuberant energy, exciting sound and unusual name, The Irregulars are first and foremost a collection of some of the very best musicians in the Rockies. The Cache la Poudre River flows through their hometown, and when the band was formed in 1994, it experienced frequent personnel changes which led to the “Irregulars.” Although long since stabilized, they keep the name as a link to the free and easy spirit of their music. They’ve made several previous Festival appearances, and you’ll be glad they’re back.
Wolverine Jazz Band - Boston
Dixieland meets New England with this marvelously talented and swingin’ group. Since 1995, they’ve been pleasing jazz fans from Connecticut to Maine, and their individual credits include stints with Butch Thompson, the Back Bay Ramblers and New Black Eagle Jazz Band among many others. Occasionally they venture west for a festival gig, including Evergreen in 2012, and audiences back then couldn’t get enough of them. Bet it happens again this year!