Portland 1930s vocal jazz group, The Stolen Sweets, has been invited to headline at the first annual Boswell Sisters Centennial Celebration on November 30 and December 1 in the Boswells' hometown of New Orleans. The event will commemorate the birthday of the most famous Boswell Sister, Connee, who was born on December 3, 1907 in Kansas City, MO.
The Boswell Sisters were popular radio stars in the 1930s, most famous for their acrobatic 3-part harmonies, tempo and key changes and tight syncopation. They preceded some of the most famous sister acts and influenced vocalists from the Andrews Sisters to Ella Fitzgerald. To this day, they are considered one of the best harmony groups in American music history.
When we originally got together to form the Stolen Sweets," says Sweets guitarist and vocalist Pete Krebs, the divining inspiration for us was both the spirit of the Boswells and the world that was reflected in their music. We strive to present ourselves not as a nostalgic group, but as a continuation of the path blazed by Connee, Martha and Vet, a modern band rooted deeply in the early 20th century."
The Stolen Sweets' repertoire is inspired by the Boswells and other artists of yesteryear like Nat King Cole, Cab Calloway and Bob Wills & His Texas Playboys. Five of the six band members share lead vocal duty, giving their sets variety, but the majority of the songs are 3-part Boswell arrangements.
The Sweets connected with New Orleans resident and Boswell enthusiast, Cynthia Lucas, on MySpace and began dialoguing about the possibility of the Sweets playing in the Boswells' hometown. When the opportunity of playing at the Centennial presented itself, the Sweets pursued it enthusiastically. They were notified in early August that they would not only be performing at the event, but they would be one of the headlining acts.
Before they perform at the Centennial, the Sweets will stop in Lafayette, Louisiana, to play a venue called the Blue Moon Saloon. November 30 marks their Centennial debut, when they perform for a showcase at arguably New Orleans' best jazz club, Snug Harbor. They will wrap up their New Orleans stay with an afternoon concert on the steps of the historic Cabildo, a National Historic Landmark operated by the Louisiana State Museum and situated in the French Quarter. The Cabildo was the site of the Louisiana Purchase ceremonies in 1803.
Before the Sweets were invited to play in New Orleans, they had been invited to play on October 26 and 27 at upscale restaurant and club, Jayne Marie On Cross Lake, in Shreveport, LA. The Sweets are also in the process of booking a 3-week tour to Europe in March of 2008.
Though the band's airfare and lodging will be funded by a local arts grant, they will be donating their performances for the Centennial in support of the city's restoration efforts. To supplement their New Orleans fund, the band will be performing two free happy hours at Alberta Street Public House (appropriately entitled Gumbo for Six") on Monday, October 15 and Monday, October 22 from 6:30pm - 8:30pm. All tips will be added to the band's New Orleans fund.
Adds Krebs, We've been very fortunate to bring this wonderful music to so many people on the west coast; you can imagine how thrilled we are to participate in the Boswell Centennial in their home town of New Orleans."