*More than a trad band*
The idea behind Swingsters' choice of music is to cover as much as possible of the Afro-Creole-American tradition. Starting in the early seventies, under the name Sumpens Swingsters, the band played genuine New Orleans Jazz all around Sweden, Norway, Denmark with occasional trips to jazz clubs and festivals in Poland, Germany, Holland, Belgium - and New Orleans. A number of guest artists from the Crescent City performed with the band - Percy Humphrey, Louis Nelson, Kid Thomas Valentine, Champion Jack Dupree among others. Soon the repertoire was expanded to cover other styles of NO music, such as ragtime, blues and R&B. One major influence was Professor Longhair whose rhumba-soaked rhythm'n'blues never looses it's magic.
***** "The most untraditional of all traditional bands." *****
Next came the music from the French Antilles, and particularly that of clarinetist Alexandre Stellio from Martinique, that hit the band with its charm and vigorous rhythms. This was music with the same ingredients as that of New Orleans, sentiment, warmth, force and swing, but this time combined with more outspoken Latin rhythms. Biguines, waltzes and mazurkas from Martinique and Guadeloupe have ever since been an essential part of the band's repertoire. Steel pans were included in the orchestra, and with them calypsos from Duke of Iron and other great artists from Trinidad . Jamaica contributed with a handful of ska numbers - and the discovery that you can play a lot as ska......
****** "Everything is played with warmth, joy, great knowledge of traditions and a love for the music, without any ironic gestures, but still with a great sense of humour" (Dagens Nyheter)*****
Swingsters continued to play this irresistable mix of music all around, at all occasions - clubs, festivals, TV-shows, parties and - you name it! One highlight was a three week tour to Florida and New Orleans in 1990, culminating with a performance at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage festival. The band had up till this point recorded 5LP:s and 3 MC:s. One LP is a document of many years of cooperation with poet Gunnar Harding, where jazz and poetry are brought together to a unity.
***** "This band must be considered as belonging to the indispensable " (OrkesterJournalen ) *****
The orchestra had a new
start in 1995. Trumpet player Lars "Sumpen" Sundbom left the band, Cacka Ekhé
revived his cornet playing and Tord Larsson joined the band on clarinet and saxes.The
cassette "Street Jazz",containing live, outdoor summer music, was
recorded. The name of the band was
eventually changed to
and in 1998 the orchestra released the CD
Bag", where some West African high-life music is contributing to the variety.
CD number three
was released in 2004 as a celebration to the beauty of Creole music and women.
The cover art is, as always, made by the famous cartoonist
Jan Lööf, who on this record also contributes with sax and flute playing!
No doubt, there will be more African material in the future, along with some Jelly Roll Morton classics, ragtimes, biguines, calypsos, choros, blues, rhythm'n'blues, ska, klezmer, zydeco........., or anything that makes the gumbo even spicier.
Swingsters continue to move around and have over the last
years performed in France, Germany,Holland,
Norway, Switzerland and Denmark