Hot Jazz, Lindy Exchange & Washington Hall

Greg Ruby. Photo courtesy of Greg Ruby.
Greg Ruby. Photo courtesy of Greg Ruby.
Rhythm Runners © Reed A. George, 2012. Photo courtesy of Greg Ruby.
Rhythm Runners © Reed A. George, 2012. Photo courtesy of Greg Ruby.

Seattle Lindy Exchange
Saturday September 13, 9:30 pm doors, 9:45pm start
Washington Hall
153 14th Ave
Seattle, WA 98133

The Rhythm Runners have convened under auspicious circumstances to deliver prohibition era jazz to the Seattle Lindy Exchange at the historic Washington Hall.  With musicians hailing from New York, New Orleans and Seattle, this group of 5 horn and string players perform music rooted in the sounds of early jazz. This Historic Site(s) Specific project celebrates the history of Jazz in Seattle, and specifically at Washington Hall, a building that saw the debut of many star performers over the course of its decades of presenting music and performance to the community.

As the 2014 Seattle Lindy Exchange featured band, The Rhythm Runners  will debut new work by guitarist Greg Ruby. In addition to original compositions, the Rhythm Runners will perform the work of  Frank D. Waldron, a seminal early Northwest jazz musician. Waldron was a cornetist, saxophonist, bandleader, music educator, author and composer. In 1924, he published Syncopated Classic, a book of his compositions written as a tutorial to study the latest saxophone technique.  Waldron’s book is one of the few documented sources of early jazz composition in the Pacific Northwest. The audience will hear Waldron’s music performed for the first time in over 70 years.

Buy tickets for the balcony, listening only.

Buy tickets for the dance floor, dancing only.

About the Rhythm Runners

A  2012 chance meeting between Seattle guitarist Greg Ruby and New York multi-instrumentalist Dennis Lichtman ignited the vision for the inception of The Rhythm Runners.  Meeting in a shoebox sized music venue in Brooklyn, Litchman and Ruby struck up a conversation about old time fiddle music that diverged into an exchange about a shared love of vintage jazz.  Mid-conversation Lichtman, exclaimed, “Are you Greg Ruby…from Seattle? I’m supposed to call you tomorrow about a west coast tour…what are you doing here?”  As it happened, Lichtman had been given Ruby’s contact just hours previous as a recommended guitarist for his upcoming tour.  It worked out that Litchman and Ruby joined forces playing an East Coast tour through the Virginia Piedmont.  The Rhythm Runners convened, joined by New York trumpeter, Gordon Au, and New Orleans trombonist Charlie Halloran and bassist Cassidy Holden.  The band recorded a 7 inch – 45 rpm vinyl recording of Ruby’s compositions and the inspiration to bring the band west was sparked.

Dennis Lichtman  – clarinet – New York  Dennis Lichtman is a clarinetist at the heart of the New York traditional-jazz scene.  He leads the  legendary Tuesday night jam session at Mona’s in Manhattan, described by the Wall Street Journal as,”ground zero for an emerging late-night scene of young swing and traditional jazz players.”  Recently, Dennis released a CD with his western swing band, The Brain Cloud and has been touring internationally playing fiddle and clarinet with roots guitarist/songwriter Pokey LaFarge.

Gordon Autrumpet – New York  Gordon Au, called “comfortable in any idiom and fearless” by music writer Michael Steinman, embodies a fusion of tradition and modernity.  During a fellowship residency with the world-renowned Monk Institute, he performed with no less than 23 Grammy Award-winners, including Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Chaka Khan, George Benson, Ellis Marsalis, Benny Golson, and Terence Blanchard. He is a sought-after trumpeter in the New York area, playing with such groups as Vince Giordano & the Nighthawks, David Ostwald’s Louis Armstrong Centennial Band at Birdland, the Dan Levinson Quintet, and Baby Soda Jazz Band. His own group, the Grand St. Stompers, will be featured at Jazz at Lincoln Center this October.

Charlie Halloran – trombone – New Orleans  In 2009 the Squirrel Nut Zippers pulled Charlie off a Mardi Gras float on St Charles Avenue and brought him on board to tour.  Charlie plays with Meschiya Lake & the Little Big Horns (as seen on HBO’s Treme) and founded the New Orleans Moonshiners,  described in the press as “a trad jazz band with new souls”.  Charlie has performed with Allen Toussaint, the Cab Calloway Orchestra, the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra, the Preservation Hall Hot 4, and Norbert Susemihl’s New Orleans Jazz Allstars.

Cassidy Holden – bass – New Orleans  Cassidy Holden is a bassist and rhythm section player performing traditional jazz and Delta blues.  Based in New Orleans, Cassidy can be heard across the U.S. and Europe as a sideman in the company of The Loose Marbles, Gordon Webster, Luke Winslow-King, Dan Levinson, and leading his own group, Cassidy and the New Orleans Kids.

Greg Ruby – guitar – Seattle  Seattle based guitarist and composer Greg Ruby is a distinctive voice in the Hot Club jazz tradition.  His CD, Look Both Ways celebrated the 100th anniversary of the birth of guitarist Django Reinhardt.   Featuring 12 original compositions, the recording reached #1 on the Roots Music Review jazz chart.  Greg, formerly of Pearl Django and Hot Club Sandwich, now leads Hot Club jazz group, The Greg Ruby Quartet, French Musette trio, Bric-a-brac and old school New Orleans style jazz quartet, The Post Alley Ramblers.  In 2013, he received funding from 4Culture to create new work for The Rhythm Runners to be performed at Seattle’s historic Washington Hall.

About Washington Hall

Washington Hall holds a unique place in Seattle’s music and cultural history. Built in 1908 by the Danish Brotherhood, the hall served as its fraternal lodge, settlement house and cultural center.  It was also a popular dance venue.   On June 10, 1918, Seattle saw its first local jazz band perform at Washington Hall with Miss Lillian Smith’s Jazz Band.  The hall continued to host jazz luminaries including Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Billie Holiday, and Joe Louis.  Jimi Hendrix is said to have given his first public performance there.  Martin Luther King Jr., W.E.B. du Bois and Marcus Garvey all gave speeches at the hall.  In 2007, Washington Hall was threatened to be sold and torn down.  The hall was rescued from demolition by Historic Seattle who purchased the property in 2009.  Renovations are currently underway to assure its legacy for the future.

About the Lindy Exchange

The very first Seattle Lindy Exchange was in October of 1999, as swing dancing started to become popular on a wide scale across the country. As one of the early swing dancing events in the country, Seattle helped reinforce the format of what an lindy exchange would be on a national level. The concept of the exchange is simple, and relies upon the idea of hosting out-of-town dancers and musicians to come to a host city and just do what they do, dance and play music. No classes, no competitions… just lots of live music and social dancing, meeting new people from across the globe.