Stumptown Swing band brings Gypsy-style jazz to the cultural center on June 15

SUBMITTED PHOTO - Stumptown Swing will play June 15 at the Chehalem Cultural Center.

The band Stumptown Swing is bringing its version of old jazz with a thumping dance-oriented style June 15 to the Chehalem Cultural Center.

The quartet plays music that goes back to the 1920s when Gypsies with guitars, violins and upright basses performed swing jazz when that genre was intended for dancing.

Swing jazz was a fusion of African and European music most often associated with the Roaring 20s, with a blues influence that kept the improvisational theme of the piece.

Stumptown's set of sultry classics are performed on acoustic instruments and played with passion by masters of their art. The band produced its self-titled debut album in 2014 and has been performing since on concert stages and dancehalls throughout the Pacific Northwest.

"A lot of the music we play is from a guitar player called (Django) Rienhardt and a violinist in Paris in the 1930s and 1940s," Tim Connell, band leader and mandolin player, said. "It is basically American Jazz music done on guitars, violins and bass instead of the drum set and everything that they would have done in New Orleans at the time."

Connell is a graduate of the New England Conservatory of Music with more than two decades of performing professionally. He tours regularly in Europe and North America with the mandolin super group The Ger Mandolin Orchestra.

Guitarist and Newberg native Mike Burdette has performed Brazilian choro and gypsy jazz guitar for more than 10 years with Connell, Jason Okamoto and David Stassens. Fiddler Ben Blechman has played in the Santa Cruz Symphony, the Monterey Jazz Festival Orchestra and other symphonies and string quartets.

Bassist Keith Brush is a veteran of several Portland bands, including the Portland Playboys, the Blue Cranes and the Stolen Sweets.

"I met these guys at a jam playing Rinehart music where we were all interested in learning it," Connell said. "Mike and I met in 2006 or 2007 and right after the jam we would just go around and play gigs. We've been together for 11 years and eventually said, 'Let's just put together a whole band.' So we did."

At its Newberg gig the band will play old standards like "Sweet Georgia Brown," "Gypsy Jazz" and "Dark Eyes" then mix in some 1960s through 1990s music.

The band has a surprise for the audience in bringing in two swing dancers to teach the crowd during intermission.

"There is a (team) of dancers in Portland and they go around and teach for 30 minutes or so before the performance," Connell said. "We want to bring the same thing to Newberg."

Arts & Leisure briefs

Chamber music slated Friday at Coffee Cottage

Chehalem Community Chamber Music, led by Rebekah Hanson, will perform from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Friday at Coffee Cottage, 808 E. Hancock St. For more information, call 503-538-5126.

Jazz pianist will play Thursday at the Allison Inn

Jazz performer and pianist David Seamon will perform from 6:30 to 10:30 p.m. Thursday and Friday at the Allison Inn and Spa, 2525 Allison Lane. For more information, call 877-294-2525.

Winery will host musical

Matt and Elise Popma will perform from 5 to 8 p.m. Saturday at the Chehalem Tasting Room and Wine Bar, 106 S. Center St. For more information, call 503-538-4700.

Library will host Public Works Day

Children can climb on heavy equipment and meet the city of Newberg's public works staff from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. June 20 at the Newberg Public Library. There is a free hot dog lunch for the first 500 people, singalongs, car seat safety inspections and giveaways. For more information call, 503-538-2323.

Father's Day at the Heritage Center

McMINNVILLE - The Heritage Center Museum is celebrating Father's Day from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. June 17 at 11275 S.W. Durham Lane. The event will feature an arm wrestling competition, refreshing sarsaparilla and games of catch with an 1866 bat and ball. The museum will be open as well.

For more information, call 503-472-2842 or visit

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