Music

The Grand Slam Sextet

The Grand Slam Sextet

The Grand Slam Sextet debuted at the California Balboa Classic in 2014, and due to the resounding response from the audience, we are thrilled to have them back this year! Inspired by the sound and spirit of the Benny Goodman Sextet, along with Benny’s Trios and Quartets, this band features the unique and magical combination of Clarinet and Vibraphone. Thus the Grand Slam Sextet features the iconic front line of Clarinet, Vibraphone and Electric Guitar, backed by the rock solid Campus Five rhythm section. Echoes of Benny, Lionel Hampton and Charlie Christian will fill your ears and rhythm will move your feet.


The Rhythm Busters

Jonathan Stout and his Rhythm Busters

Featuring Miss Hilary Alexander

Jonathan Stout and his Rhythm Busters, featuring Hilary Alexander is the newest band from the Campus Five family, and it focuses on the rollicking sound of big bands of the early 1930’s, just prior to the Swing-era. The Rhythm Busters is an 11-piece band that takes the authentic Hot Jazz sound of bands like Jimmie Lunceford, Fetcher Henderson and Chick Webb, and presents them in the most danceable way possible, without sacrificing any of the fire or excitement the Campus Five and Orchestra are known for. The Rhythm Busters were created because promoters wanted another flavor, but one that keeps the unmatched danceability and contest music of our other bands.


Les Boulevardiers

Les Boulevardiers

Les Boulevardiers is a Django-theme Swing band with the same unmatched danceability and authenticity as the other swing bands led by Jonathan Stout. Les Boulevardiers is a quintet made up of Violin, two Guitars, Bass and Drums that features the distinctively “European” bounce feel, known as “Le Pompe”. Jonathan has long been a student of the guitar playing of Django Reinhardt (as evidenced by the Campus Five’s recordings of “Dark Eyes” and “Minor Swing”), and Les Boulevardiers is a chance to explore the Django sound, while maintaining a superior level of danceability.

The band’s name comes from one of Jonathan’s favorite cocktails, the Boulevardier, which itself was named for a term meaning “man-about-town, or bon vivant.” Just for fun, here’s Jonathan’s preferred recipe:

 

Boulevardier
  • 1.5 oz Bourbon (Elijah Craig 12yr)
  • 0.75 oz Campari
  • 0.75 oz Sweet Vermouth (Carpano Antico or Cocchi Vermouth di Torino)
  • Stir over ice, strain, serve up with a fat Lemon Peel, and then put on some Django.

Kyle Smith

Kyle Smith

Head DJ

Originally from Los Angeles, CA, Kyle now makes his home in Denver, CO. While his dancing and music career started as a night out almost 2 decades ago with friends in San Francisco, it didn’t take much before it turned into an obsession. Initially being turned onto swing music by Louis Prima and Frank Sinatra, he has expanded his musical passion throughout the years, but his roots are still the likes of Benny Goodman, Count Basie, and Duke Ellington.

Bringing his deep passion for classic big band swing, Kyle is honored to have been a part of hundreds of swing events throughout his career. As the head DJ for All Balboa Weekend and Eastern Balboa Championships, Kyle has been instrumental in guiding the balboa music landscape. At the events he is honored to be a part of, he is often serving as competition music coordinator, giving presentations on the history of music or leading an annual DJ summit.

Despite being a part of many great balboa events such as Balboa on the Promenade and The Experiment, Kyle shares an equally strong passion for lindy hop. Starting as a lindy hopper in 1996, he has been a part of Camp Hollywood since 1999 and has had the pleasure of bringing his music to such great lindy hop events like ULHS, Inspiration Weekend, and Lindy Focus.

Kyle has taken his passion for classic swing music and turned it into a series of successful talks at many of the events he travels. With topics ranging from The History and Passion of Swing to Benny Goodman: King of the Clarinet, This Music Sucks, and Django Reinhardt: A Centennial Anniversary, Kyle’s enthusiastic presentation style and musical knowledge makes him a popular attraction at any event.

One of his greatest talents is his ability to hand select competition music that both inspires and energizes the competitors and audience alike. He holds standing Head DJ positions at ABW, EBC, Lindy On The Rocks, RMBB and The California Balboa Championships. Kyle has also been fortunate to help the competition music at Camp Hollywood and the US Open.