Swing band groovin’ for a decade

The Alex Bailley Swing Band getting wild (Facebook)
The Alex Bailley Swing Band getting wild (Facebook)
The Alex Bailley Swing Band getting wild (Facebook)

STU English professor and trumpet player Matte Robinson will be boppin’ his way to the Cedar Tree Cafe with the Alex Bailey Swing Band on Nov. 29.

The Alex Bailey Swing Band has been playing around the Fredericton area for the better part of a decade now, including the ever popular Harvest Jazz and Blues Festival.

“It started out with Alex, our leader and Chris, our guitarist having fun and loose jams,” said Robinson, one of the first horn additions to the band in 2008. He has known Alex since “way back” and says his sound comes mostly from old Dixie and blues.

With an age difference of almost 50 years between youngest and oldest member, they bring a new flavor to old classics. The members of the band are no strangers to a live performance. Although they all have different backgrounds, each member of the band has been a working musician at one point in their lives.

“This band, for us, is like getting together with old friends and having awesome musical conversations,” said Robinson. “We are entertainers who want to have a spontaneous experience with our audience, not present a canned and prepared performance.”

Known for their improvisation, the Alex Bailey Swing Band’s mix of jazz, bop, with a little bit of Delta blues creates a delightful potion that sends anyone who consumes it back to the golden age of music. For a band who only practices about once a month, their execution is flawless. With a full horn section, four-part harmonies, mandolin, banjo, male and female lead vocalists and a rhythm section, these guys never miss a beat.

The Alex Bailey Swing Band captivates and engages the audience with a sound that can be tailored to any mood.

“It is obvious when you watch them play there is a really strong connection between members. They’re always talking and joking to each other during shows, and the atmosphere is very welcoming,” said Matt O’Dell, second year student who attended a few of the band’s shows.

“We play familiar tunes and we know one another well enough and are comfortable enough with one another to go wherever we want,” said Robinson. For all the members, the band is a retreat from their regular daily lives and side projects, it is also a way to let loose and explore their musical talents without any restrictions.

However, it isn’t always easy to bring that many musicians together. Robinson said it’s hard to coordinate eight or nine busy schedules. Despite each having individual goals, the members of the band would one day like to put out an album, but right now the main goal for the band is, “Whatever comes our way that seems fun and worthwhile.”

The Alex Bailey Swing Band will be at The Cedar Tree Cafe on Nov. 29. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. and tickets are $12 in advance or $15 at the door.