This group 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. www.tomwhiteheadmusic.com
Portland Swing Project is a local organization with a passion for swing music and dances of the 1920s to today. We teach, dance, perform and provide live and DJ’d swing music spanning a century to local venues. We’re also some of the friendliest people you’ll ever meet – we have a bunch of fun so come join us! For information on weekly classes and dances, private lessons and special events, check out www.portlandswingproject.com.