Hot Swing Hotties

Whiteaker Hot Club bridges 1920s jazz to the 2020s

Of all the different styles of jazz, the most inviting are hot swing and gypsy jazz, says Dan Mahoney, guitarist with Eugene-based early jazz dance band Whiteaker Hot Club. These styles, foundational parts of American music and popular now to one degree or another for more than a century, are instantly recognizable, nostalgic and most of all, make people want to get up and dance.

“We all have a wide range of musical appreciation, but there is a special place in our hearts for early jazz,” Mahoney adds, listing Sidney Bichet, Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong and Django Reinhardt as points of inspiration for the band

Featuring members of High Step Society, an electro-swing band known for blending aspects of early jazz with electronic dance music, Whiteaker Hot Club takes a far more traditional approach to the material.

“What we try to bring to every performance is energy, laughter and spontaneity,” he says. The band hopes to get into the studio in 2020.

The name, Whiteaker Hot Club, is inspired by Django Reinhardt’s The Quintet of the Hot Club of France, Mahoney says.

Taking the “club” part seriously, the band has performed with burlesque acts, tap dancers, vocalists and swing dance groups since forming in 2017. The group recently added guitarist and violinist Austin Bertak to the lineup. 

Whiteaker Hot Club, more than anything, is a nice break from other projects for the busy musicians. “We all have been or currently are in projects that entail much more rehearsal, perfectionism and often stress,” Mahoney says. “The Hot Club is a pretty stress-free environment and I think that is apparent in our approach on stage.” 

Whiteaker Hot Club performs with Mood Area 52 9:30 pm Saturday, Jan. 4, at Sam Bond’s; $7, 21-plus.

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