JAZZ LIVES has made it possible for me to have friends all over — certainly more friends than I would have envisioned in middle school. One of the most able is the swinging string bassist Jen Hodge, whose work I’ve admired on a number of CDs with Bria Skonberg, Glenn Crytzer, Evan Arntzen, and other assorted Arntzens. She’s also a charter member of the Company B Jazz Band, whose name makes more sense when you remember the Andrews Sisters’ recording about the boogie-woogie bugle boy of . . .
A sample of what Company B does with spirit:
For those who’d rather watch and listen than read, here’s the reason for this post:
Company B Jazz Band, of which Jen is an integral part, has been together since 2006, performing in 3-part close harmony style à la the Boswell and Andrews Sisters (though Company B also has transcriptions in their repertoire from other harmony groups of the era, such as The Keller Sisters & Lynch, the Mills Brothers, etc, as well as many of their original arrangements).
For more information about the band, please visit their site.
At the Boswell Sisters Revue concert in New Orleans last Fall, organized by Kyla Titus and featuring 3-part harmony groups from around the world, they were the only Canadian group at that prestigious event. Now Company B is once again the only Canadian band invited to play at a prestigious festival, but this invitation is both more impressive and slightly more difficult to accomplish.
Company B Jazz Band has been invited to perform at the Nanjing International Jazz and World Music Festival in China this October. Their hot music will be heard all across the province Jiangsu, in a dozen different venues and municipalities. It’s onerous enough to move six band members (plus wardrobe, instruments, equipment) within the United States and Canada . . . but the trip from here to China poses its own problems.
You can guess what might be next in this post. Readers of JAZZ LIVES might know that I have some reluctance to use this blog as a platform for fundraising, but I do it when the request feels right. Introducing Chinese listeners to the music of the Sisters Boswell and Andrews . . . as well as the others — this seems like a fine idea. International relations, you know. And I don’t write a post such as this without making a contribution on my own.
Here is the INDIEGOGO page — where you can read about the rewards for contributing, and find out more about the band.
Start with Boswell harmony, and who knows what kind of global harmony might result?
May your happiness increase!