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Welcome to Hot House West!

Thanks for joining us for our eighth installment of the weekly newsletter, your source for swing, jazz and acoustic music inspiration in Salt Lake City! We hope you all have had a joyous holiday season. As you venture back out into the world there are still many great upcoming opportunities to see or play music. So grab your partner, or your fiddle, or your dancing shoes and get out and catch some live music!

In this week's newsletter we have some info on upcoming live performances. Parker Swenson makes an appearance in our community spotlight. Learn how to be cool from Duke Ellington himself in the 'Listening Room.' And lastly, nerd out with David Baker on different versions of the classic standard, Rosetta.

Enjoy! Happy Holidays!




Upcoming Community Events

Our newsletters will go out every Monday as we begin to build a running list of jazz, swing and acoustic roots-related community events. If you would like to submit anything to this list, please message by 5:00 p.m. the Wednesday prior. We will review it and add it to our events if it is a good fit! Thanks.




This week we would like to highlight our dear friend, Parker Swenson. You'll find him all over town playing drums with exquisite taste and artistry. In addition to being an excellent player, he brings great vibes to the bandstand where he is always calm, cool, and down to follow the music wherever it goes.

Parker currently holds the position of Director of Percussion at the Waterford School in Sandy, Utah. He also contributes his expertise as an Adjunct Professor of Music at Westminster University in Salt Lake City. Since earning his degree from the University of Utah School of Music in 2018, Parker has quickly become a go-to drummer in the state. His talents extend beyond performance; he was a featured presenter at the 2019 Jazz Education Network conference in Reno and has conducted masterclasses at several prestigious universities, including Utah State University, Brigham Young University, and Utah Valley University. A lifelong student of his craft, Parker has had the privilege of studying under the tutelage of renowned drummers Carl Allen and Kenny Washington, fueling his deep-rooted passion for percussion.

Be sure to catch him at the Pearl on Tuesday's where he organizes the trios each week. Follow him on Instagram to stay up to date!


Listening Room: Music Appreciation for Non-Musicians

Duke Ellington explains how to be cool

A lot of people don't realize that the term "hip" and "cool" really became mainstream terms because of jazz. In the 1930s/40s, people who were hep, or later "hip," were in the know about this emerging art form we celebrate today. In fact, in 1938, Cab Calloway published the first dictionary by an African-American author to catalog all of the slang terms being used in Harlem at the time. Check out this video of the very eloquent and elegant Duke Ellington explaining to an audience just how one might make themselves appear "cool."


Nerd Corner

Exploring the tune, 'Rosetta'

The standard 'Rosetta' was written in 1933 by the great Swing-Era pianist, Earl Hines, with lyrics added by his arranger Henri Woode. It became a standard tune and is closely associated with guitarists due to a handful of important covers including Django Reinhardt and Bob Wills. I wanted to compare the chords Earl Hines plays in his solo stride piano arrangement (1939) to Bob Wills loose vocal recording of the tune (1937) and lastly to one of Django's recording of the tune (1940). What you'll notice is each player maintains some similar movements, but with variations that stylistically point to each's style. You will tend to notice Western Swing versions of tunes strip back chords and lean on chord substitutions that are more closely associated with country of the era. Interestingly, Django keeps some of the colorful inversions Earl Hines plays and even adds some of his own. Try coming up with your own versions of the changes and have fun!

---David Baker


Patron Saint Django - Vinyl & CDs Available!


Thank you for hanging out with Hot House West! We are an organization devoted to growing and supporting Utah’s swing and acoustic roots music community. We believe that acoustic music—from swing and jazz to bluegrass, old-time, country and western— brings people together and creates opportunities for connectedness, learning, and joy.

Our goal is to provide and promote weekly and monthly events, from dances, to jams, concerts, and workshops, that support and build our acoustic community. If you’ve ever wanted to dust off the ol’ guitar, meet new players, find a dance partner, or even just find more live acoustic music, follow us, spread the word, and join our Hot House West community! We hope to see you soon!

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