The Shanghai Woolies play “hot music”, the pop and jazz of Chicago and New York City in the 1920’s and 30’s. The eight-piece ensemble, founded by Pink Martini trumpet player Gavin Bondy, is diverse enough to approach the magical sounds of the young Duke Ellington, the big band sounds of Benny Goodman, and even the orchestral treatments of Paul Whiteman, and blend it with more modern musical elements, including metal and rock. Material for the project was culled from long-forgotten jazz albums with the hope of introducing a brand new audience to music that filled dance halls more than a half-century ago.
Gavin plays trumpet and cornet, writes songs and creates arrangements for the band. Brought up in Portland, Oregon, he studied music from old-school horn players who showed him how American music was made in the first part of last century. They had worked in live radio orchestras and in the bands of people like Glenn Miller and Tex Beneke. It became Gavin’s task to reconcile this early training with the newer sounds he enjoyed elsewhere. Along the way, he discovered beauty in many of the musical elements others had discarded in the name of progress. So, he chose the earlier music of the 1920’s when, in 1999, he began work in ernest on the material for the Shanghai Woolies.
The vocalist and songwriter, Mel (Melanie) Kubik, is the centerpiece of every performance. Her early training in music (classical piano at age 3, saxophone at 9) and her experience in traditional jazz (Timbuktu + 5) and pop rock (Quarterflash) combined with her Bohemian lineage and down-home Kansas upbringing has resulted in a voice and style that has won the singer/songwriter rave reviews from critics throughout the US and Canada. [LastFM]
Performed by the Shanghai Woolies. Video and editing by Event One
I got what it takes
Serenade To A Savage
David Lee Mardi Gras Concert Feb.16, 2010 with members of Shanghai Woolies.
David Lee - Piano
Gavin Bondy - Trumpet
Clark Bondy - Sax
Tom Hill - Trombone
Ted Swenson - Bass
Dan Stueber - Drums.