Joe Smith and the Spicy Pickles Jazz Band is a Denver-based vintage jazz band dedicated to revitalizing swing music and dance. This small group style swing band packs a punch of power, personality, and wit into each show, intriguing generations new and old with the beloved charm of big band swing from the late 30’s and early 40’s. The Pickles bring it all – high energy, quality musicianship, and an authentic big band sound and look that celebrate the unique American spirit of swing. The band fuses musical influences from the sounds of Count Basie, Benny Goodman, and Artie Shaw with the showmanship of Louis Armstrong, Lucky Millinder, and Jimmy Lunceford. With a smart respect for the preservation of vintage jazz music and entertainment, the Pickles are constantly adding new and original tunes to their repertoire. They bring a unique visual flair to each performance with gimmicks, tricks, horn movements, and hat work inspired to captivate audiences all night long.
Trumpet player and vocalist, Joe Smith, started the band in January of 2013 to give dancers live music to swing out to. Since the bands’ inception, the Pickles have held a special place in their heart for the swing dance community. The band travels from coast to coast to play their spicy tunes at swing dance events both large and small, and inspire dancers to fall in love with jazz over and over again. The group is notorious for their spot on arrangements and electrifying energy during competitions. The band is known to regularly keep dancers on their feet truckin’ until 4 in the morning. Recent dance events the Pickles have performed at include:
Hawkeye Swing Festival (Iowa City)
Lindy on the Rocks (Denver)
Killer Diller Weekend (Seattle)
Cowtown Jamborama (Omaha)
Music City Exchange (Nashville)
Southern Fried Swing (Fort Smith, AR)
Rocky Mountain Girl Jam (Denver)
LindyPalooza (Champaign/Urbana, IL)
The Pickles pride themselves on being the most professional swing band in the business. They are easygoing, flexible, and open to collaborating with other musicians and entertainers. The band has taught master classes in music performance at the University of Iowa, and often invites students to sit in for a song or two during shows. All six members of the band are devoted to their craft, which ranges from playing, composing, and producing music, to teaching students, planning swing dance events, and restoring instruments.
In 2013 the group recorded a full-length self-titled album in Iowa. Since relocating the band to Colorado, the Pickles have recorded 2 EP’s: “Extra Spicy” in 2013, and “Rocky Mountain High” in 2014. Following the success of their albums, the band won first place in Seattle’s Jazz Dance Film Festival with “Movin’ Groovy” featuring original music by the band.
You can catch Joe Smith and the Spicy Pickles Jazz Band playing live in Denver every month at the Mercury Café in Denver, Colorado. Stay tuned for updates on the group’s East Coast Tour and much anticipated album, “No Bullshit,” in July of 2015.