Join Portland Swing Project for live music and swing dancing in the Square! This month, Tom Whitehead’s Rites of Swing will perform.
Portland Swing Project spreads the appreciation of swing music and dance through weekly classes and events for all levels of experience. We teach, dance, perform and provide live and DJ’d music to venues throughout Maine. Absolute beginners welcome, no partner needed.
“Rites of Swing is lead by vocalist, guitarist and pianist, Tom Whitehead. The ensemble also features Michael Arciero on guitar, Kris Day on upright bass and Don Whitney on drums, with special guest Ellen Carlson on violin. The sound evokes the smooth, acoustic feeling of Django Reinhardt’s gypsy jazz style, but with a distinctly American flavor of vocal standards from the 20’s, 30’s and 40’s.
Whitehead sings in a very mature, improvisatory style that is greatly complimented by Arciero’s dynamic and virtuosic lead guitar playing. Day and Whitney provide a seamless and effortless rhythmic foundation that swings hard, but is never overbearing. Carlson’s fiddle playing evokes the sophisticated swing of the great Stephan Grappelli along with the earthy grittiness of Vassar Clemens and Johnny Gimble. This group sails along like a Clipper Ship of a bygone era – smooth, elegant, powerful and a real joy to listen and dance to.“
Portland Swing Project hosts swing dances in Congress Square Park every third Friday from May through August.