Jonathan Stout and his Campus Five ft. Hilary Alexander
Jonathan Stout is a bandleader and guitarist specializing in pre-bebop jazz guitar. As a guitarist, Jonathan draws from the many and varied styles of pre-bebop jazz guitar, including the rhythm guitar of Freddie Green, the electric single-note style of Charlie Christian, the acoustic block-chord solos of Allan Reuss, and the gypsy-jazz of Django Reinhardt. Jonathan also writes a noted blog on swing guitar (now found here, on this website). Beside playing in his own bands, Jonathan is a member of the Bonebrake Syncopators (led by DJ Bonebrake of the band X), and has played guitar for Michael Gamble and his Rhythm Serenaders, Josh Collazo’s Candy Jacket Jazz Band, Casey MacGill, Dean Mora (Mora’s Modern Rhythmists, et. al), the Boilermaker Jazz Band, the Lucky Stars, Jim Ziegler’s Swingsations, Josh Collazo and his Feetwarmers, Bill Elliott, and Johnny Crawford. He played on Jeremy Wakefield’s 2005 Album, “Steel Guitar Caviar” (Ecco-Fonic), as well as Michael Gamble and his Rhythm Serenaders’ self-titled 2016 debut album.
As a dancer, Jonathan is proud to have learned from such original masters Ann Mills, Hal Takier, Freda Angela, and Bart Bartolo. Jonthan danced on the first place team at the 2002 National Jitterbug Championships. Because of his experience as a dancer, Jonathan is uniquely suited to understand the interaction between Swing music and dance.
As a bandleader, Jonathan has studied the authentic sound of the Swing-era, and how that differs from the styles of jazz that came before and after. Armed with this knowledge, Jonathan has given many musicality classes at dance events, using a live band to demonstrate the differences between Swing, pre-Swing Jazz, and post-Swing straight-ahead jazz.
Hilary Alexander is the co-bandleader and vocalist for all of the bands in the Campus Five family. Hilary was raised as the daughter of Jazz pianist and a Brazilian samba dancer. She attended NewYork City’s Professional Children’s School, along with many child stars. Growing up, she was surrounded by the sounds of jazz vocalists Anita O’Day, Betty Carter, Ella Fitzgerald, Ella Mae Morse, and Blossom Dearie. She brings an authentic smooth style in the spirit of her favorite vocalists. She has been a featured guest vocalist with the Bill Elliott Swing Orchestra and Mora’s Modern Rhythmists.
As a dancer, Hilary was among the group of Los Angeles-area dancers that rediscovered Dean Collins-style Lindy Hop and Balboa in the late 1990’s. Growing out of her love of Swing dance, Hilary founded Camp Hollywood in 1998, and it has grown into one of the world’s premier Swing dance events, drawing over 1,000 dancers, including dancers from five continents and 30 countries. Camp Hollywood is celebrating its 22nd year.
Jen Hodge All Stars
Jennifer Hodge, a busy Vancouver-based bass player, bandleader, and arranger, 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 has taken her to stages all over Canada, the USA, China, Spain, France, the UK, Sweden, and the Caribbean. On home turf, Jen can be found leading a band on Wednesday nights at Guilt & Co, a bar in Vancouver’s historic Gastown district and a major hub for the city’s musical creative minds, where she has held a regular gig since January 2011.
In February 2018, Jen released her most recent Jen Hodge All Stars album, “All’s Fair in Love and Jazz”, which peaked at #2 on the !earshot National Jazz Chart in Canada, cracked the JazzWeek top 100, and spent a week as the highest charting self-released title on the North American College & Community Radio jazz charts, where it peaked at #20.
The BRIDGETOWN SEXTET performs authentic, energetic roots jazz from the 1920s, 30s and 40s, with a sound evoking Creole New Orleans, the stomp of prohibition era Chicago, fast-paced Harlem stride piano, and the tight swing of depression era Manhattan. Portland natives Andrew Oliver and Scott Kennedy assembled this group out of a longstanding desire to capture the natural feel of these early jazz innovations- the drive, energy, and stylistic nuance that characterize them- while fostering a unique sound that would move beyond mere traditionalism and preservation in the interest of crafting fresh music.
SCOTT KENNEDY (piano and drums) is a completely self taught and ear-trained musician specializing in the immense technical and physical demands of stride piano among other traditional jazz styles.
DAVID EVANS (clarinet and tenor sax) is a native of Alabama. After living in New Orleans for many years and absorbing much of its musical culture, he relocated to Portland and has become a highly sought-after instrumentalist on account of his versatile and astonishingly lyrical sound.
JOHN MOAK (trombone) has an abundance of playing and teaching experience across the U.S. with artists such as Aretha Franklin, Dave Brubeck, and Ella Fitzgerald, and displays a standard of virtuosity on his instrument rarely approached anywhere in the country.
DOUG SAMMONS (guitar and vocals), has been involved in a diverse range of roots musical projects in Portland and elsewhere for years. A former NYC taxicab driver, he now teaches kindergarten and co-directs a popular Portland-based band the Midnight Serenaders.
ERIC GRUBER (bass) began his musical career playing Bluegrass. He later taught himself to play jazz and is now a popular and active player who’s highly regarded for his rhythmic drive, solid tone and thrilling solos.
The Hot Lovin’ Jazz Babies
THE HOT LOVIN’ JAZZ BABIES is the side project of Doug Sammons and Dee Settlemier, front persons for the long-time Portland swing band the Midnight Serenaders. The project was put together at the beginning of 2015 specifically for the Secret Society’s Thursday Swing night series, and has since become a favorite of Portland’s swing dance community. The group strives to resurrect the spirit of late 1930’s small band ensembles such as Fats Waller & his Rhythm, Teddy Wilson and his Orchestra, and Billy Holiday and her Orchestra. The Hot Lovin’ Jazz Babies have a monthly residency at the Secret Society and perform at other Portland area dance clubs, and performed at the 2016 and 2017 Portland Lindy Exchanges. The 7-piece band features Dee Settlemier on drums/vocals, Doug Sammons on guitar/vocals, Pete Lampe on bass, John Moak on trombone, David Evans on sax/clarinet, Garner Pruitt on trumpet, and Ralph Huntley on piano.
Richard Basi’s Cherry Blossom Orchestra
Based out of Portland, Oregon, The Cherry Blossom Orchestra were formed as a direct result of Louis Armstrong’s visit to the city in 1965. Louis Armstrong is one of many inspirations for the Orchestra, as well as the music of Duke Ellington, Fats Waller, Jelly Roll Morton, WC Handy, Spencer Williams, the Oklahoma City Blue Devils, Fletcher Henderson, and so many more. Hot times, prohibition, speakeasies, wax & early vinyl recordings were the order of the day. Richard Basi’s Cherry Blossom Orchestra play authentic jazz arrangements created during its most important period in the music’s history: the 1920s to the 1940s. The full Orchestra includes David Evans on Clarinet and Saxophone, Charlie Porter and Garner Pruitt on Trumpets, John Moak on Trombone, Tom Sandahl on Guitar and banjo, Randy Porter on Piano, Ken Anoe on bass and tuba, and Richard Basi and Tim Rap on drums.