May 21, 2019

The trip to Chicago was more fun than I imagined!  First, I played an invitation-only concert with Paul Asaro and his Rhythm plus the Chicago ‘Swell Sisters.

Swells by Ted BeranisThe Chicago ‘Swell Sisters.  Photo by Ted Beranis

That engagement was followed by a swing dance at Northwestern University with the same performers, and Sunday night I played for the first time with the Chicago Cellar Boys at the Honky Tonk BBQ on the South Side…Cellar Boys at HTBBQ May 19

Chicago Cellar Boys at the Honky Tonk BBQ.  Photo by Peter Ho

It was a real treat to play Fats Waller and James P. Johnson songs with Paul’s group, Boswell Sisters repertoire with the ‘Swells and a wide variety of Classic ’20s material with the Cellar Boys.  All that great music was definitely worth the trip, and a seemingly endless supply of insane Chicago drivers!

Next up is a weekend at the Jazz Corner in Hilton Head, SC with Duke Heitger, Tim Laughlin and Kris Tokarski.  We have performed as a group at the Jazz Corner several times, and the audience never fails to give us a rousing reception, and that inspires us to play even better.

I plan to update this page before leaving for New Orleans at the end of the month.  Meanwhile, here are a couple photos of the four-legged Smiths coping with the sudden increase in temperature here in Arkansas:Big Al on piano bench


Princess in hamper

Please check back during the last weekend in May for updates regarding engagements in June, July and beyond.