Seven amazing cats, all inspired by the music played at the Cotton Club in New York by Duke Ellington and Cab Calloway, decided to create the "Harlem Swing Orchestra », an orchestra that celebrates the Jazz, Elegance and Madness that was the Harlem of the 1930s and 1940s.
// double bass
One of the leading French authorities on Duke Ellington.
His book "Duke Ellington the Greatest Jazz Composer and Conductor" was published in 2022 in French & English versions.
Initiator of multiple musical projects around the master.
He is an invaluable narrator who turns every " A Night at the Cotton Club " show into a fascinating journey inside this mythical club of New York in the 1920s to 1940s.
// trumpet & arrangements
Always in search of new scores and recordings to rearrange the masterpieces of the mythical orchestras.
A trumpet player expert in playing with mutes.
Founder of many vintage & swing bands in the Grenoble area and during the years spent in Sweden and Hong Kong.
His first teacher was the Duke himself, via all the transcriptions he made of the master, from the Cotton Club's first recordings to the modern period of the 60s.
Pianist of the André Wentzo's Duke Ellington Project.
Instructor & leader of several swing bands during 5 years spent in Guangdong (China).
// saxophones & clarinet
Leader of the Ivan Baldet Quintet which performs throughout France to pay tribute to the great American saxophonists of the 50s.
An unconditional admirer of Scott Hamilton with whom he played several times, he has dedicated a YouTube channel (more than 2 million views as of today) devoted to his transcriptions of this master of the tenor saxophone.
A jazz drum historian, with a special interest in the drummers of Duke Ellington and Count Basie's orchestras.
An unconditional fan of Jo Jones.
Involved in numerous projects in the South-East of France from Gypsy Jazz to Big Bands and small Swing and Bop bands.
// trombone & tuba
Another Multi-Instrumentalist: Trombone, Tuba, Trumpet, Recorder, etc. based in the Grenoble area.
Travels around the world, all year long with several orchestras... and always back for HSO concerts.
Jean Baptiste Perez
// saxophones & clarinet
Leader and Producer of the Duke Ellington Project, a Big Band based in the Grenoble area dedicated exclusively to the music of Duke Ellington.
He is an unconditional fan of Paul Gonsalves.
The HSO's guests
Clara "Kooky" Smith
An authentic American Melting pot !
She was born in Canada and spent the first 25 years of her life performing in Gospel groups in Montreal and traveling to New York for jazz.
She moved to Australia to pursue her singing life before finally settling in France.
Energetic and bubbling when the Jazz is hot but very emotional in the ballads and Duke Ellington's sacred music, she's always ready to pack her bags and join her HSO buddies when the opportunity arises.