2015 Artists – Scheduled to Appear
Forty Bands with Performances by Over 200 Musicians
Enjoy many styles of music including: Vintage Jazz, Contemporary Jazz, Cabaret Jazz, Swing, Western Swing, Big Band, Zydeco, Gypsy Jazz, Blues and more.
This delightful foursome will be featured during the festival due to popular request. Don’t miss the magic that happens when you get the rare opportunity to catch them.
Blue Renditions features our 2006 Great Lady of Jazz, Sherri-Lynn Colby. Sherri, who hit the jazz scene at age 14 as the Sirene of the San Jaquin, has certainly grown up! The cabaret style Sherri adopts when singing with her own group allows her to establish intimate contact with her audience. Her maturity in life and music makes for sweet listening, with a bit of soul searching thrown in for good measure. Sherri’s husband Matt rounds out the group with a serious face…watch for the imp-grin that flits across occasionally!
WHAT TO EXPECT: Vocal jazz with synergistic instrumentation.
The Blue Street Jazz Band is one of the most innovative groups in traditional jazz. The band earned the reputation as The Bad Boys of Dixieland for their eclectic tastes in music. At any given Blue Street performance the audience is liable to hear various styles of music including swing, Mardi Gras, folk song, marches, waltzes, Latin music, and hymns. Uniquely, Blue Street Jazz Band touts three music educators: Dave Ruffner, a retired high school band director, Rick Canfield, a junior high school band director, and Forrest Helmick, an elementary school music teacher.
WHAT TO EXPECT: Jet propelled traditional jazz with eclectic interludes.
Bob Draga & Friends
Knowing Bob personally for over 20 years, there is much I can’t say here. However, I can tell you that he is a consummate performer and he is as versatile as they come.Look for him to show almost anyplace because his life passion is expressed each time he picks up his horn. Flying solo this year Mr. Draga will be featured as a guest artist with many of our bands. It is his delight to play for you and it will be your delight when you come to listen.
WHAT TO EXPECT: Smooth, sweet clarinet in Bob’s unmistakable style.
Boise Straight Ahead
Boise Straight Ahead was formed in 1997 and they love the big band sound and the uniquely American music that honors the many big bands that have played this music in the past. They have focused on playing community events in the Treasure Valley and have donated more than $55,000 in performance fees to local charities.
This all volunteer army is demonstrating at every opportunity their passion to keep this music alive and we all get to benefit from their hours of dedication. A must see if you love the Big Band sound.
WHAT TO EXPECT: Faithful renditions of the Big Band era. Great for listening or dancing just like you used to do!
Brianne Gray and the Jake VP Band
Bruce and the guys will delight you with a large repertoire of original music and decades of experience entertaining satisfied listeners from all over the world. Don’t miss the chance to hear “Jack Daniels, you liked to me again” or any number of other songs that will keep playing in your memories long after the festival is over for this year.
WHAT TO EXPECT: Seasoned veterans showing off their skill in American Folk and original music. Always a crowd pleaser.
John Cocuzzi swings! He knows how to captivate the listeners as well as keep the dancers on their feet. His audience rapport, along with the superb musicians found in his company, have set the standard for those who demand quality entertainment.
Kristy has a sultry voice that has thrilled audiences everywhere and was featured on vocals, sax and clarinet with Big Tiny Little for almost 10 years. She has toured as lead alto, clarinet, and vocalist with the “Live Lawrence Welk Show” throughout the United States and Canada, as well as being a member of the “Champagne Music Makers” at the Welk Resort in Branson, Missouri.
WHAT TO EXPECT: Seamless melodies and a smooth touch on the keys, skins and bars.
The seven multi-talented musicians of Cornet Chop Suey will give you an exciting jazz and swing show every time, presented with gusto and enthusiasm.
With at least a century of songs in their repertoire, from the rags and Dixie of the early 1900s to contemporary jump, jazz and swing, their high-energy front line and powerful rhythm section produce an exciting new sound and approach that is a proven crowd pleaser.
WHAT TO EXPECT: Powerful two-trumpet front line reminiscent of the Lu Watters Yerba Buena aggregation
Ellis Island Boys
The Ellis Island Boys are a fun exciting jazz quartet, who will delight you with a wide selection of jazz tunes from the 1920’s and 1930’s including specialty numbers, vocals and even sophisticated ballads. They are featured at Disney California Adventure on the Paradise Garden Bandstand.
Gator Nation, formerly known as Gator Beat, the West Coast’s premiere Cajun, Zydeco, and New Orleans R&B band, is a hand-clapping, foot-stomping, high energy concert and dance band. With the same survival instinct as its namesake, Gator Nation continues to adapt itself to its audiences, always with something fresh yet true to its calling.
That calling is to represent the music of South Louisiana in all its forms, Cajun, Zydeco, and New Orleans style. They have the talent and diversity to do so, to express the nuances that define the genres. The result is a remarkable show with so much variety and depth that at the end of the show, the Gator Nation Band leaves you happy and hollerin’ “the BEAT goes on!”
The all-acoustic Gonzalo Bergara Quartet plays a modern variant of 1930s Django Reinhardt-inspired gypsy jazz. Composer and lead guitarist Gonzalo Bergara mixes a cascade of arpeggios with the sounds of Paris and his native Argentina. His first CD, Porteña Soledad, was Editor’s Pick in Guitar Player Magazine, and Vintage Guitar Magazine called it a “masterpiece.” The Gonzalo Bergara Quartet consists of Gonzalo Bergara on lead guitar, Jeffrey Radaich on rhythm guitar, Leah Zeger on violin, and Brian Netzley on upright bass.
The music is heavily influenced by Django Reinhardt and the Hot Club of France, as well as the traditional jazz and music of Bergara’s true home, Buenos Aires. “Gonzalo Bergara’s music exists in a way that very little music does. He has lavished such care on every phrase, built each arrangement with such lapidary precision and pared away anything extraneous, the music becomes sculpture. It has weight, density, gravity. This is serious….and deeply moving.
When attending one of High Street’s performances, be prepared…. for anything. You could even end up as part of the act, or with someone in your lap! In other words, these guys give it all and they give it every time.
You don’t want to miss a moment. It’s likely, however, that you may hear something written sometime after 1945. But hey, with all the fun you’ll be having and the energy in the room… even if you do care, you won’t notice.
WHAT TO EXPECT: Be prepared for anything!
Anne and Jeff Barnhart have credits that stretch across the U.S. and back again. Anne is a classically trained flautist and the organizer of our ever popular Classical Renegades set ,where we feature some of our other classically trained artists who have “crossed over to the jazz side.” Husband Jeff has a ragtime/stride piano background and he will bring you a charming and witty combination of ragtime to Broadway.
WHAT TO EXPECT: The perfect and unique blend of soulful and blistering jazz piano, flute and vocals.
Spirited, lyrical, smoky and jazz-edged guitar sounds are what you will hear from acoustic archtop guitarist Jerry Krahn. Jerry brings his unique no-amps acoustic guitars to the stage in the styles of early jazz guitar masters Eddie Lang and Django Reinhart.
His arrangements of 20’s and 30’s jazz and pop standards are delivered with a flair. Jerry carries these guitars into the 21st century with soulful versions of contemporary jazz, personal compositions and jazz-laced countrypolitan hits combining styles of Joe Pass, Chet Atkins, George Benson and Pat Metheny.
WHAT TO EXPECT: Swinging, intimate, rural, and sophisticated guitar sounds
Not exactly the new kid on the block, Jim has played for heads of state around the world. Perhaps you caught one of his many recordings and were just looking for a place you could actually see him Titanless in a live performance. Well, he is here with the Usual Suspects and there is no doubt you will be asking for more when it’s over.
WHAT TO EXPECT: Jim and his gang playing his eclectic mix of eccentric songs. It will be good!
Joe Fos Trio
The Duchin Room has been a gathering place at Sun Valley since 1937. Stop by during the festival, and you will meet a mix of musicians and jazz fans from around the world. Many of Joe’s friends will drop in to play with the trio. Known by many as “Mr. Sun Valley” Joe is a fixture in the Duchin and he is also the MC of our Pianorama.
WHAT TO EXPECT: Beautifully flowing piano, tunes you know and love. Keep watch, anyone is likely to show up at any moment to jam with Joe.
Kelly / Scott Quartet
Kyle Rowland Blues Band
Dressed in their tuxedos with white dinner jackets the Kings of Swing add an air of 1940s elegance and style to every performance. The Kings are a 17-piece dance band that originated in 1944 and have delighted the crowds here in Sun Valley since our first festival. Our Saturday night TRIBUTE TO GLENN MILLER Big Band is a favorite and always has a full dance floor.
WHAT TO EXPECT: Faith-full renditions of Glenn Miller, close your eyes and you will think he is right there with us.
Midiri All Star Big Band
Our Thursday night offering of the Big Band Swing era is lead by Joe Midiri. It’s why we cleverly call it the “Midiri Big Band” in fact. Not to overstate the obvious here but Joe is a pretty talented guy and he loves this show. It’s not often these days we have the opportunity to enjoy an amazing re-creation of the Big Band sound and this group of guys will lift you right out of your seats and onto the dance floor.
Talk about gifted brothers! Between the two of them, Joe and Paul play almost every musical instrument known to man. They feature the music of what most people consider to be the best small Jazz group of all time — The Benny Goodman Sextet.
You might also catch a Lionel Hampton tune or two. Tight arrangements and musical excellence make them a must see.
WHAT TO EXPECT: Goodman and Hampton ala Midiri.
PBJ (Paul Reid, Brian Casserly, & Jim Lawlor)
We are pleased to offer this special treat, but because of their busy schedules (Cornet Chop Suey & The Midiri Brothers) there is only one change to see them together, so don’t miss it!
WHAT TO EXPECT: To laugh! In addition; piano virtuosity, crooning vocals, and sizzling trumpet.
with Brady McKay
Brady McKay commands the stage with a flair of experience and theater background to rouse your appetite with her antics, talent and gorgeous femme fatale qualities!
WHAT TO EXPECT: Lyrical standards done the way you remember them.
The well traveled and world renowned funny man and banjo virtuoso will grace our stages this year. The owner of “Goofy Graphics” in Morro Bay, California, Gary is no stranger to Sun Valley or the festival circuit. We are thrilled he will be joining us again this year.
WHAT TO EXPECT: Fine banjo and lots of merry making! Watch for him. He may show up anywhere!
The minute Ellie walks on the stage you know you are in for a treat. Her vintage wardrobe and respect for the genre become clear the moment she counts off her tunes. Her show includes standards from the jazz era that are given new life as Ellie swings them with her own interpretation. Always a crowd favorite, Ellie’s vintage vocals have been influenced by Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, Nat King Cole, Frank Sinatra and countless other great voices from the era. Rounding out their sound is rhythm guitar provided by Kiley Shaw.
WHAT TO EXPECT: Ellie is an old soul with a sparkling personality who transports audiences back in time with her authenticity and talent.
Sherri Colby’s New Orleans Racket Makers Jazz Band boast some of the finest young musicians playing early jazz in new Orleans today. The Racket Makers’ music will have you dancing and swinging all night long… just take a listen and you will hear their love for the old songs and styles that invoke the spirit of New Orleans jazz. Inspired by their love for the tradition, the Racket Makers’ energy is infectious and the music goes right to the heart of the matter: Let’s have fun!
WHAT TO EXPECT: Classic New Orleans jazz reminiscent Preservation Hall.
WHAT TO EXPECT: A most enjoyable, rewarding musical experience!
Sun Valley Jazz All Stars
Sponsored by: Rebecca & Bob Mitchell, Cinda & Ray Vertrees
Kristy Cocuzzi, sponsored by: Joseph & Donna (Finidori) Allenwood.
With Jeff Barnhart, Chet Jeager, Pieter Meijers, John Cocuzzi, Kristy Cocuzzi, Dave Ruffner, and John Reynolds.
Check your local Post Office for pictures of the band… For years we have wanted to assemble a “Directors Choice” band and figured for the 25th we should just do it. This was such a popular idea with our friends from the Mammoth Lakes JJ they tried a version of it themselves. We expect this to be a real “barn burner” group and each of them (all band leaders in their own right) will lead a set of their own and call the tunes. We really don’t know just what to expect but great music and to be highly pleased with the entertainment.
Sun Valley Jazz Marching Band
A featured event for many years here and unparalleled on the jazz festival circuit this special tribute to the Marching Band can be a very emotional hour. This is “everyone invited” and a great treat for those of us that played in a high school band and want to sit next to a pro. Come join a thousand others and feel your patriotism surge while the local Girl Scouts present the colors.
WHAT TO EXPECT: To be fully alive, awake and energized.
Born out of the “Jack Daniels Silver Cornet Band” this group had the metamorphosis of growing from five to seven, became an instant hit, and has stormed the halls of many notable haunts around the world. As an accomplished ensemble that captures the moment of magic, you’ll always come back for more. Look for any of these versatile “Titans” to appear as a guest or with other artists and you’ll know why they have won the hearts of so many.
WHAT TO EXPECT: Traditional jazz at its best with outstanding soloists and good humor.
Tom Hook, the Original BIG Dog himself, of the Black Dogs Jazz Band fame. If a piano player could be a one man band, Tom would be your guy. You can never tell who may drop in to play, as you will see, it’s too much fun to pass up when you have the chance to take the stage with him. What’s Swamp music?
WHAT TO EXPECT: To laugh, cry, dance or bark all in the same hour.
Tom Rigney, a fiery, electrifying violinist / composer, joins forces with some of the finest musicians on the San Francisco roots music scene to form Tom Rigney & Flambeau, a band that generates enough heat and energy to ignite a dance floor or lift an audience to its feet. Tom Rigney & Flambeau were voted Best Cajun / Zydeco Band of 2004 by the West Coast Blues Hall of Fame.
WHAT TO EXPECT: Cajun and zydeco two-steps, low-down blues, funky New Orleans grooves, and heartbreaking beautiful ballads and waltzes.
U.S. Coast Guard Dixie Band
If you have never been able to get in the door at a We Three set, it’s no surprise. While you never know what you’ll see (OR hear!) the entertainment is non-stop. This ever popular trio has more fun than should be allowed by law, and before you know it, they will have won your heart, too. Not to be missed.
WHAT TO EXPECT: Superb showmanship, hilarious antics, great music.
Every year, fourteen senior Yale men are selected to be in the Whiffenpoofs, the world’s oldest and best-known collegiate a cappella group. Founded in 1909, the Whiffs began as a senior quartet that met for weekly concerts at the famous Yale tavern.
Today, the group has become one of Yale’s most celebrated and hallowed traditions.
WHAT TO EXPECT: Charming young men crooning delightful harmonies.
This irresistible lady can belt the blues one moment, and whisper and whine the next. Her impeccable vocal styling captures the imagination. Yve greets her website fans by saying, “Hello, I’m Yve Evans. Welcome to my world. Here in Evansworld we sing, dance and have a Great Time!” That about sums it up.
WHAT TO EXPECT: Moving vocals with a modern twist and a touch of humor.
The above artists are scheduled to appear. Schedule is subject to change without notice.