MORA'S MODERN RHYTHMISTS is a thirteen-piece ensemble devoted to playing classic jazz and swing tunes of the 1920s and early 1930s. Using period arrangements and transcriptions from the original recordings, this group has established itself as one of the foremost interpreters of early big-band music.
The band was originally formed in 1994 by Dean Mora, a Los Angeles-area pianist whose interest in the 1920s and 1930s was forged early on as a child (he saw the movie "The Sting" when he was 11, and was instantly hooked). Their repertoire first consisted of popular jazz hits of the 1920's and early 1930's, but soon started to include tunes that would be considered precursors to Swing.
Following a series of small concerts around the Los Angeles area, the band was booked at the world-famous Derby, a nightclub housed in one of the original Brown Derby Restaurants in Hollywood. Soon, the band had garnered a reputation as one of the best swing bands in Los Angeles, and their Monday night performances soon gained a cult following among dancers and band enthusiasts, and they remained at the club for almost three years.
Since then, the band has played in a number of historic venues in Southern California, including the Hollywood Palladium, the Wiltern Theatre, the Avalon Casino Ballroom, the Alex Theatre, the Wilshire Ebell Club, the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, the Biltmore Hotel, the Oviatt Building, and at both the Los Angeles and Orpheum Theatres in downtown Los Angeles for the Los Angeles Conservancy's hugely popular "Last Remaining Seats" series.
Mora's Modern Rhythmists have also appeared in classic jazz festivals, including the San Clemente Jazz Festival, the Sweet and Hot Classic Jazz Festival (Los Angeles), and the Big Bear Festival of Jazz. Corporate and organizational clients include Pacific Bell, Toyota, The Art Deco Society, the Skirball Cultural Center, USC, Disneyland, Occidental College, and Steven Spielberg.