Q&A: Band du Pays Swing

Posted Oct. 7, 2014 @ 12:01 am

Stephen Gagné, saxophone player for local swing quintet Band du Pays Swing, talks about his group. The band plays at 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 8, at Liquid Assets, 96 N. Main St. There is no cover charge. The band also will play at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 11, at Paschal Winery, 1122 Suncrest Road, Talent. Saturday’s cover costs $10.
Let’s talk about what you like to play.
We play jazz standards from the ’20s to the ’50s. People come up to us and say they felt like they were transported back to the ’20s when they hear us play. We play that big-band style of danceable music that you want to tap your foot to and sing along with rather than the more intellectual jazz.
Do you write originals?
No, we haven’t written any originals. Our goal is to play music that people already love. We want that music that allows the listener to go back to those great memories that they have in association with the songs.
What do you think sets you apart from other jazz groups?
I think we have a very skillful way that we render the songs. Kacie Garner, our singer, studied theater at the University of Utah and studied at The American Musical and Dramatic Academy and has had voice lessons for 20 years. She’s seriously skilled. Her dad’s a jazz pianist, so she grew up with jazz in her blood. I’ve spent years studying the Paul Desmond (saxophonist for the Dave Brubeck Quartet) style of playing, and our guitarist, Tony Brussat, has been studying Django Reinhardt for decades. Our drummer (Bryan Jeffs) is a percussion professor at Southern Oregon University and Rogue Community College. He plays in concert settings and has a huge repertoire.

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