Swing Week

Swing Week

July 5-10, 2020

Browse all video lessons offered at Augusta 2020

Due to the current public
health crisis, Augusta will not be holding any in-person programming until Summer
2021. We are committed to keeping our community engaged and connected during
this time. Read on to see how you can experience Augusta at home in the coming

Digital learning at Augusta! We are offering a winter season
of lessons 
on our new digital learning platform. Go to augustaartsandculture.org to
see all of the lessons from our incredible artists. Registration will open
November 30 and classes will be available from November 30, 2020 through April
1, 2021

Visit the Augusta Arts & Culture Page

Augusta Online 2020: Swing Week Staff

Wes Crawford, Swing Week Coordinator

After graduating from Virginia Tech in Psychology with some work towards an MBA, Wes toured North America and the Caribbean for eleven years with Jazz/Rhythm & Blues song stylist Jane L. Powell (www.JaneLPowell.com ) where he performed on drumset and worked as Road Manager for the group. Since leaving perpetual road life in 1992, Wes has continued as Ms. Powell’s Manager where he oversees her international performance schedule. While performing for Ms. Powell, the group won numerous awards on the college circuit including Entertainer of the Year in 1990. Since settling into the Washington DC/Baltimore region in 1992, Wes has performed and recorded on drumset and hand percussion with numerous musical acts of all styles including Higher Octave/Narada recording artists Shahin & Sepehr, popular saxophonist Ron Holloway, the late legendary Eva Cassidy, Daryl Davis, and many others. He also performs his solo interactive performance, “A Rhythmic Murder Mystery” on electronic percussion for schools, drumming groups, and musical camps. Wes works with the corporate team-building program, Beatswork!, by Catalyst Events and leads his own group, Enviro Drum- Maryland. Wes was trained for drum circle facilitation by internationally known facilitator, Christine Stevens. Wes considers musical education to be his most important legacy to the future and therefore has taught drumset privately and at Goucher College in Baltimore since 1996. Wes also directed the annual Drumset And Percussion Camp (www.DrumsetAndPercussionCamp.org) of the Goucher Summer Arts Institute from 2005-2013, has taught for the National Guitar Workshop camp system, and has taught at Augusta Blues and Swing Week since 2014. Wes also presents drumset clinics and workshops at schools and universities and for drumming groups. He also writes and conducts interviews for DrumPro Magazine (www.Drum.com) and for Percussive Notes. Since 1999 Wes has offered unique interactive, educational music media through his company, Music And Games 4 U (www.MusicAndGames4U.com). From 2005-2014 Wes served as Vice-President and then President of the Maryland/Delaware Percussive Arts Society Chapter (www.PAS.org) where he organized and managed their annual Day of Percussion event. Wes has an Artist Endorsement relationship with Baltimore Drum Company (www.BaltimoreDrum.com), Dream Cymbals (www.DreamCymbals.com), and ProLogix Percussion (www.ProLogixPercussion.com) and is a member of the Vic Firth Educational Team (www.VicFirth.com).

Darden Purcell

Darden Purcell is a Washington D.C.-based jazz vocalist, featured with symphony orchestras, big bands and small ensembles; band leader and vocal instructor. Ms. Purcell has shared the stage with many of the world’s top jazz artists including Eric Alexander, Terell Stafford, Jim Pugh, Chip McNeill, Alan Baylock, The Metropolitan Jazz Orchestra, and American Festival Pops Orchestra (Tony Maiello) and more, performing at concert halls and clubs throughout the nation. Dr. Purcell is the Director of Jazz Studies, Jazz Voice Instructor and Director of the Mason Jazz Vocal Ensemble at George Mason University.

Darden is a former Washington DC Air Force Band vocalist and has performed back-up vocals for countless artists, including Darlene Love on “”The Late Show with David Letterman.”” She is an active jazz vocal educator and clinician, having served on the faculty for Illinois Summer Youth Music, George Mason Summer Jazz Workshop and National Jazz Workshop. She has been a guest artist/clinician at Texas Tech University, Virginia Tech, Southern Nazarene University, Illinois Wesleyan University Jazz Festival and the “Jazz Voices” Conference in Graz, Austria. Her students have won “Outstanding soloist”” and “Outstanding Musicianship”” awards at collegiate festivals as well as Downbeat Student Music Awards. In Spring 2016, the Mason Jazz Vocal Ensemble earned “Outstanding Ensemble”” at the Kansas City Jazz Summit.

Dr. Purcell received her Bachelor of Arts in Vocal Jazz Performance at Virginia Tech, a Master of Music and a Doctor of Musical Arts in Jazz Performance at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Visit Darden online at dardenpurcell.com.

Seth Kibel

Seth is one of the Mid-Atlantic’s premier woodwind specialists, working with some of the best bands in jazz, swing, and more. Wowing audiences on saxophone, clarinet, and flute, Seth has made a name for himself in the Washington/Baltimore region, and beyond. He is the featured performer with The Kleztet, Bay Jazz Project, Music Pilgrim Trio, The Natty Beaux, and more. He has won 28 Washington Area Music Awards (Wammies), including “Best World Music Instrumentalist” (2003-11) and “Best Jazz Instrumentalist” (2005, 2007-8, 2011-14).

He is the leader, clarinetist, and composer for The (Alexandria) Kleztet, a genre-bending klezmer band he founded in the Baltimore/Washington area. The band’s four albums, Peace, Love and Coffee (2009), Close Enough for Klezmer (2005), Delusions of Klezmer (2002) and Y2Klezmer (1999) are all available nationwide. All four recordings received the Washington Area Music Association’s (WAMA) award for Best World Music Recording following their release. Additionally, Seth was named “”Best World Music Instrumentalist”” by WAMA every year from 2003 through 2011. In 2012, he was bestowed the honor of “”Emeritus”” status in this category. In 2005, 2007, 2008, and 2011-14 he was also named “”Best Jazz Instrumentalist.”” In 2017, his song “”New Waltz”” took home the Grand Prize in the Mid-Atlantic Song Contest, sponsored by the Songwriter’s Association of Washington (SAW).

In addition to his activities with The Kleztet, Seth has fronted a variety of swing and jazz groups, including Bay Jazz Project. In 2002, he was commissioned to write, perform, and record an original score for Dreams in the Golden Country, an original theatrical production at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. In January 2004, Seth released his first jazz CD, Nuts and Bolts. His second solo album, The Great Pretender, was a blues/jazz project released in July 2007 on the Azalea City Recordings record label. His third solo record, Phonin’ It In with Seth Kibel and Bay Jazz Project, is a straight-ahead acoustic jazz record released on Azalea City Recordings in July 2011. In April 2014, he released a “”Jazz for Kids”” album, Jazz For People Who Are Shorter Than Me,”” which was named “”Best Children’s Music Recording”” for 2014 by the Washington Area Music Association.


Jesse McBee

Dr. Jesse McBee is a jazz trumpet player currently based in Omaha, NE. He graduated from West Virginia University with a Bachelor of Music in Jazz Studies, the University of Louisville with a Master of Music in Jazz Performance and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln with a Doctorate of Musical Arts. He is currently the Store Manager of Thompson Music, a professional brass shop in Omaha, NE, and also serves as an instructor at Iowa Western Community College. Prior to this, he was on faculty at West Virginia University, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and the West Virginia Governor’s School for the Arts. In addition to his work as a performer and educator throughout the Midwest, he has had the opportunity to perform and present at the Jazz Education Network Conference and the International Society for Improvised Music Conference.


Kathy Reitz

Kathy has attended Augusta for over 25 years. She plays a big bass and a little uke. She appears on The Zombies of Swing (Swing Cat Records, recorded at Augusta with Paul Anastasio and other swing faculty in 1992), Home by Miss Tess, Razz’em Jazz’em’s album on Patuxent, and a small variety of other people’s recordings. She freelances around DC and plays in most of the same bands as her music and life partner, Marv Reitz. These include the Buffalo Nickel Band, Paramount Jazz Orchestra, Big Bang Swing Band, Swing Underground, and Sunshine Skiffle Band. Besides playing with Marv, Kathy’s favorite people to play with are her friends from Augusta.

Marv Reitz

Marv Reitz was warned by his music teacher father not to be a jack of all trades and a master of none. But Marv decided he’d rather not be a jack of one either. He plays sax, clarinet, guitar, steel guitar, and sings. Last year marked more 25 years at Augusta and 20 on the faculty. A molecular biologist/virologist by day, Marv has been on the Washington, DC, music scene for 45 years. He was an original member of Doc Scantlin’s Imperial Palms Orchestra and now leads the Paramount Jazz Orchestra, a 10-piece ’20s and ‘30s band, and Swing Underground, a 17-piece swing big band. He also plays with the Big Bang Big Band and the Buffalo Nickle Band, a western swing-oriented sextet. He and his wife share a vast repertoire of music. He can be heard with the Sunshine Skiffle Band on Rounder and on Patuxent Music with the Buffalo Nickel Band and Razz’em Jazz’em.

Albanie Falletta

A native of Monroe, Louisiana, Albanie was in her formative years exposed to the local music of Louisiana: the sounds of cajun, zydeco, blues and gospel musics at festivals and backyard parties.

Shortly after relocating with her family to San Marcos, Texas at the age of nine, Albanie began taking guitar lessons and developing an interest in acoustic-roots and electric blues, punk rock, and hair metal. Albanie began her love and study of early American Jazz as a freshman in highschool in Wimberley, Texas, when she was exposed to the Parisian Romani guitarist Django Reinhardt.

Listening religiously to recordings of Reinhardt, Louis Armstrong, Billie Holiday, Fats Waller, and other such great figures of jazz, she developed her feel for swing. Soon she was performing alongside mentors Slim Richey, Django Porter, Ray and Linda Sriro, the Jazz Pharaohs, and other players of the Austin scene where she lived and performed in the years after high school. Between 2008 and 2013, Falletta led her own swing/early jazz band Albanie and Her Fellas, and was a member of several groups including the Thrift Set Orchestra, Guy Forsyth and the Hot Nut Riveters, Ivy Divey (a swing trio featuring three part harmony singing with Emily Gimble and Katie Shore), and others.

In the summer of 2013 Albanie relocated to New Orleans, Louisiana, where she is currently living and performing solo, and with various traditional jazz and swing ensembles. Shortly after moving to New Orleans, Falletta began making trips back to Austin to study early acoustic fingerstyle blues with Steve James, and to continue performing with Guy Forsyth, Thrift Set Orchestra, and the Fellas. She now performs mainly in and around the crescent city, and tours as a solo act, performing New Orleans traditional tunes, acoustic blues, ragtime, and original songs.


Harry Appelman

Harry Appelman has performed on concert stages on five continents. He has been chosen three times to participate in U.S. State Department music tours overseas — to South and Central America, Eastern Europe, Turkey and Cyprus, and South Asia. He has performed in Egypt with the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra and the Todd Marcus Quartet, and has performed at the Festival Gnaouas et Musiques du Monde in Essaouira, Morocco and the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland. Mr. Appelman is a member of Afro Bop Alliance, winners of a 2008 Latin Grammy, and has toured the United States and Canada with the Woody Herman Orchestra and the Artie Shaw Orchestra. A recipient of a 2012 Maryland State Arts Council Award for composition, he was a finalist in both the 1987 and 1988 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Piano Competitions (finishing second in 1988) and one of three prizewinners in the 1989 Great American Jazz Piano Competition. Appelman has performed in small groups led by Conrad Herwig, Eddie Daniels, Gary Thomas, George Garzone, Jerry Bergonzi, Jim Snidero, Drew Gress, Brian Lynch, Don Braden, and Walt Weiskopf, among others. Long-term musical collaborators include such non-Western musicians as Afghani vocalist/harmonium virtuoso Humayun Khan and tabla player Broto Roy. Mr. Appelman was named in Washingtonian magazine’s February 2003 “Great Music” issue as one of the D.C. area’s best jazz artists. He currently performs in the area at Blues Alley, the Millenium Stage at the Kennedy Center, Wolf Trap, Twins, and other popular jazz venues.

Appelman leads the latin jazz group Duende Quartet, and has played frequently with Palmetto recording artists Rumba Club. He has performed in concert with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Darren Atwater, and the Alexandria Symphony Orchestra with guest soloist Branford Marsalis. He has also resided and performed in Boston and New York City — where he played with numerous creative and respected groups, ranging from trumpeter Scott Wendholt’s quartet to vocalist Dakota Staton’s trio.

A native of the Chicago area, Appelman began his classical music training in the first grade, later turning to the fusion and rock idioms and ultimately to jazz. After graduating with a B.A. in Economics from the University of Illinois — where he was honored as a Phi Beta Kappa and Summa Cum Laude — he went on to earn a Master of Music degree with Distinction from the New England Conservatory. His post-graduate music studies have included work with Jim McNeely, Fred Hersch, Stanley Cowell, Tom McKinley, Sophia Rosoff and other brilliant pianist-teachers.

Ralph Gordon

A uniquely versatile musician, Ralph Gordon brings 45 years of musical experience to the bass and cello in the genres of Blues, Swing, Jazz, Klezmer, Folk, Bluegrass, Country, and many others. Classically trained in music studies at West Virginia University and the Manhattan School of Music, Ralph went on to do a stint with the New Jersey Symphony and tour with Fred Waring & The Pennsylvanians. When it comes to knowing and holding down the bottom, Ralph is on top!!! www.RalphGordonMusic.com