With the closing of the Carnation Plaza last month, California lost one of its longest running live music venues. For some 50 years, Disneyland provided a live musical talent in the shadow of Sleeping Beauty’s Castle – Benny Goodman, Count Basie, Gene Krupa, Lionel Hampton…many of jazz greats played this humble stage. This is also the same stage where the ‘old-timers’ of LA swing and balboa came together to revive their dance addiction.
I spent most of my college years dancing to Doc Anello & The Swing Machine and Stompy Jones, and I was devastated that I would be out of town for the final blowout. Thankfully, Disneyland moved the Jump, Jive, Boogie Swing Party to Downtown Disney and live music is more available to the mass of visitors than ever!
Atomic Ballroom loves to support live music. Whenever possible, Atomic brings in bands and musicians to entertain and connect with dancers. While DJ sets can be inspired and share a variety of musical styles, dancing to live music can be so much more expressive. Plus, dancers have a chance to meet and support the musicians who are keeping their musical styles alive. There are a number of small combos and jazz orchestras around the OC & LA areas for dancers to enjoy!
Southern California Swing and Jazz Bands
Orange County and Los Angeles have a plethora of talented jazz and swing bands. The groups range from small combos to large orchestras, playing everything from hot jazz, gypsy jazz, boogie woogie and swing.
- Jonathan Stout and his Campus 5 (or the Jonathan Stout Orchestra)
- Josh Collazo & his Feetwarmers
- Jim Ziegler and The Swingsations
- The Reynolds Brothers Quartet
- Bonebrake Syncopaters
- Capt’ Jeffery and The Chumbuckets
- The California Feetwarmers
Live Music isn’t just for Lindy Hoppers…If you’re into West Coast Swing, Country Swing, or Country Two-step, then there are live bands in satisfy your need for blues, boogie and western swing!
Southern California Soul, Blues and Western Swing
If blues and soul is your thing, then check out these SoCal bands/musicians. Danny Maika is a local Orange County lindy hopper turned professional musician. His soulful pop, rock and blues has garnered the attention of the OC Music Awards and performed for west coast dance conventions like SwingDiego. And Brother Yusef is a renowned Orange County blues musician – you can often find him playing guitar in Downtown Disney – with a gritty guitar, he will rip your soul out as he plays blues, r&b, reggae and more.
If boogie, rockabilly and western swing get you on your feet, then check out these amazing and well-known local bands!