Enter the Blues is thrilled to have a live band this year......
Shawn Hershey started playing the trumpet at age 9. Originally taught by his father, Lowell Hershey, a successful NY musician, Shawn went to the “Fame” high school, attended Manhattan and Juilliard Pre-college, and eventually went to Eastman School of Music to study classical trumpet. Forced to quit the trumpet for three years as a result of an injury to his lip, Shawn moved to Boston to work as a software developer.
Slowly Shawn regained his ability to play the trumpet at the same time as he developed an interest in swing and blues dancing. Instead of going back to classical music, he began studying jazz more intensely. In 2006 he created his first swing band, The Fried Bananas. Since then he has played almost all of the Boston swing dance venues as well as dances in NYC, Connecticut, and Montreal. In addition to playing for swing dancers, he has created a variation of the Fried Bananas to play for Blues dancers. They have played many blues gigs including one of the biggest blues dance festivals in the US, BluesSHOUT 2011, where they got rave reviews.
“You wouldn’t believe the amazing feedback we are getting on your band. I don’t think I’ve ever had such a great response to a band.” -Heidi Fite
Shawn has also played with other swing and blues bands including Joshua Fialkoff’s J-Street, the Gordon Webster band, the Careless Lovers, and Jonathan Stout’s Campus Five.
Shawn is learning bass, drums, and piano but hasn’t yet figured out how to play them all at the same time. Also, as far as he knows, Shawn is the only person to combine dancing and playing the trumpet to place in a national solo blues dance competition.
Beverly "Guitar Watkins
Beverly "Guitar" Watkins is the Georgia Music Legend Award Winner. If you’ve never seen a blues lady who can play guitar behind her head, belt out powerful songs and lay down James Brown steps, you’ve never been in the audience when Beverly Guitar Watkins was burning down the house. As a teen she teamed up with the legendary Piano Red and has rocked venues with the best of them for 5 decades. Through the years Beverly Guitar Watkins has stolen the hearts and blown the minds of audiences internationally. Beverly Guitar means business!
Enter the Blues 2014 DJs
From acoustic to electric, jazz to guitars, vintage to modern, Julie digs all the blueses. She has DJed around the country at bluesSHOUT, Emerald City Blues Festival, Mile High Blues, Bambloozled, and more. She also DJs regularly in Boston, where she lives, dances, works, and occasionally sleeps. Julie’s musical tastes span from the soulful to the sultry, the dirty to the demure, but always with a healthy dose of attitude.
Though sorrowful that it will be the last year, Duane is quite honored to be part of the final Enter the Blues. He now resides just outside of Washington, DC, but grew up near Stone Mountain, Ga and is very excited to play for his old hometown. Duane will do his utmost to get the dancers burning up the floor and give this event the Viking funeral send off it deserves!
Anna has been behind the decks for events such as CUBE, North Star Blues, and Winter Blues, and she was co-founder and house DJ for Chicago’s monthly blues and lindy dance. She’s excited to be taking the tunes to the east coast from her new home base in Brooklyn. Her goal is just to play the best darn music possible so you can have an amazing night of dancing.
Dan is a Baltimore resident whose obsession with music has been life-long. He’s taken to DJing because he loves sharing his music, inspiring other dancers, and guiding the energy of a dance. He’s constantly challenging himself to bring new material to his fellow dancers and works hard to offer a variety of music in his sets that stays true to the roots of the dance. He loves all styles of music and his sets tend more toward authentic Jazz and Blues, but he can bring the funk if the dance calls for it.
Dan regularly travels to teach and DJ at events and is always looking for the next travel opportunity.
Meet Jenny from the block, in NYC. She is an award winning international DJ and instructor who loves to create a party with music whether with Blues, Swing, Fusion, or just House Party Style incorporating vintage, 'classic' and modern eras. Enjoy the jams as she will be surprising and make you say 'what is that song?!" Get ready to be inspired to create in your next dance. More info at JennySowden.com
Photo by Braden Nesin at Made By Hand Photography
Mike Legenthal considers herself a musician- one who plays the laptop. She had her first DJ gig handed to her in 2008, and has since pursued her obsession with jazz and blues music with no-holds-barred enthusiasm. She studies rhythm and dynamics by listening to the masters, and applies her dance knowledge to choose music which will push people to dance in ways both new and inspired. Her tunes hail from a variety of eras and sounds, but always with their roots clearly in the past, and an energy that transcends time. You can learn more about her at her website: www.mikethegirl.com.
Photo by A Captured Image Photography
Dan Legenthal believes in the journey. He believes in trad jazz, old-school blues, and the art of playing for the dancers in the room. Dan strives to find new (and old) music that inspires and challenges dancers to create art in all dance forms. Having honed his DJ skills with local and regional events beginning in 2010, Dan has DJed at events including Steel City Blues Festival, Snow Bound Blues, and Chicago’s Winter Blues, and Nocturne Blues.
Brenda is, simply put, too great for words. But she'll play some music, and it will be great. Just... too great for words.