SWING CARAVAN: ALT-JAZZ FOR THE PEOPLE
Swing Caravan makes a playful, nuanced brand of acoustic alt-jazz that is fun, beautiful, and all their own. The band is a western mass favorite and has been steadily expanding its audience since bursting onto the northeast festival scene in 2009. Already known for high-energy live shows, the band has evolved into an even more uniquely colorful blend of Gypsy jazz influenced swing, global traditional, and original music. Their latest CD, In the Wild Afternoon, features all original songs.
Swing Caravan has played the Falcon Ridge Folk and Green River Music Festivals, won the Falcon Ridge Emerging Artist Showcase, and has played concerts at Club Passim, Iron Horse Music Hall, Cafe Lena, Old Colony Woodstock, the NH Jazz Center, Brooklyn Djangology Festival and many other venues in the northeast.
Guitarist and vocalist Matthew Ruby Shippee, double bassist Julia Kay, drummer Dave Nelson, and trumpeter Geoff Cunningham form a solid improvising quartet. Together, they fluidly lead listeners through a wide range of musical textures, moods, and emotions. Their sound ranges from uplifting and blazing fast syncopated rhythms to heartfelt, sparse ballads with vocals. In an era flooded with musical acts of all sorts, Swing Caravan stands out as a blend of high-level musicianship and dedication to fun, spontaneous, playfulness that audiences appreciate. More than just good music, they share an experience of enthusiastic joy for the music with audiences. In doing so, Swing Caravan brings back the idea of jazz as a popular music.
It's time for Alt-Jazz! Swing Caravan adopted the term alt-jazz as a short-hand way to reflect how they are updating traditional jazz styles and repertoire with non-jazz influences, attitudes, and repertoire. They are having fun creating tradition-based music with liberally added doses of everything from Simon Shaheen to Joni Mitchell to Willie Nelson. Swing Caravan doesn't sound exactly like the tradition of jazz or anything else... they are an alternative well suited to the brave new world's iPod era.