top of page




Welcome to Swing and Strings Weekly # 17

This week we wanted to reflect on the amazing showing at our first Swing Collective gypsy jazz jam session hosted at Millcreek Common, shout out our upcoming Western Swing-themed Swing Renaissance event, highlight our friend Joe Chisholm, and show y'all some basic dance moves to use for Western Swing! We are so excited to see such great camaraderie and growth in our community. Showing up and participating in any way makes such an impact, so thank you!

May the stoke never die!





Our Swing Collective program kicked off our first official swing jam this past Monday and it was a swinging success! Thanks to all who showed up to gather and workshop swing tunes with us. Mark your calendars—we will host another one next Monday, March 11th at Millcreek Commons. We are super excited to have a place to host an a true acoustic community jam session.


We are intending to rotate between a Django-inspired hot club (or Gypsy Jazz) jam and a Western Swing jam. However, this next Monday, we want to capitalize on the amazing progress we were making with hot club swing and host another gypsy jazz night.   These will necessarily be acoustic, so unfortunately, no horns/drums at this time. However, we are working on setting up a trad jazz jam in the near future. In the meantime, bring your strings and let us know if you have questions or suggestions.


The night will kick off with a guided slow jam from 6-7. This is a beginner-friendly hour where we will break down the music and provide some tips and tricks on how to get better at the genre. Come ask questions, learn some tunes, and get to know the community!


A Swing Renaissance Series

March 28th

Hot House West(ern) Swing Night


Are you ready to yee and haw? This month's Swing Renaissance series is going to be themed around one of our favorite genres: Western Swing! We are inviting a number of special guests to perform with the Hot House West Swing Orchestra including our dear friends Pompe n' Honey and an opening performance by Barrage à Trois!


This month, we're teaming up with our friends at local 501(c)(3) non-profit Survivor Wellness to put on a righteous evening. 10% of ticket sales from the night will go to supporting their mission to providing cancer wellness and integrative health care services and support for cancer survivors, their family members, caregivers and loved ones in a home-like setting. Come on up to the house, y'all!


Be sure to visit The Soul Forest Boutique upstairs and get yourself some food from LYF Country Kitchen Food Truck! We'll have a beginner friendly dance lesson at 8pm and then we'll dance the night away!


Thanks to all of our incredible sponsors who help make this event happen!


Upcoming Community Events

Weekly Events

  • Millcreek Art Market - Millcreek Common

  • Thursdays (March 14th) 7- p.m. (on-going)

  • Bluegrass Night - Hosted by Trash Moon Collective - Gracie's (21+)

  • Tuesdays (March 12th) 7-10 p.m. (on-going) Band of Ferns!

  • Bluegrass Jam - Hosted by Trash Moon Collective - Woodbine Foodhall

  • Wednesdays (March 13th) 6-9 p.m. (on-going)

  • Rotating Jazz Trio - The Pearl on Main (21+)

  • Tuesdays (March 12th ) 7-10 p.m. (on-going)

  • Rotating Jazz Trio - Sawadee Thai

  • Friday & Saturday (March 15th & 16th) 6-9 p.m. (on-going)

  • Flamingo Jazz - Lake Effect Cocktail Bar (21+)

  • Wednesdays (March 13th) 8 - 11 p.m. (on-going)

  • Jazz Jam - Hopkins Brewery (21+)

  • Wednesdays (March 13th) 8 - 11 p.m. (on-going)

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.




Joe Chisholm

Joe "the wildcard" Chisholm is a dear friend, family man, professional trombonist, composer and educator based out of Salt Lake City. He attained a bachelor’s degree in Trombone Performance and a Master’s Degree in Jazz Performance from the University of Utah. He has been involved historically with important musical projects such as the Salt Lake Alternative Jazz Orchestra (SLAJO) and John Henry. Joe’s current projects include Hot House West and a quartet he co-leads named “Subconscious 3”. He has shared the stage with a long list of masterful musicians throughout his career; most notably Wynton Marsalis, Roy Hargrove, Marshall Gilkes, Andy Martin, Herlin Riley, Charlie Hunter and Robert Walter. Joe is an active husband and father to three and enjoys art, sports and the outdoors. You can see him and his family in the Hot House West Swing Orchestra's latest music video "When I Grow Too Old To Dream."


Nerd Corner: Basic Dominant Chord Shapes on Guitar!

Swing Jam Survival Tactics!

Thanks to everyone who showed up at our first parlor swing jam this last Monday! I know that swing can sometimes feel super overwhelming, but we want to reassure you that you've got this! If you're more accustomed to other styles of music, you're probably thinking, "Woah! There are a lot of chords in these songs!" While that's true, you're going to quickly discover that there are certain kinds of chord movements that happen time and again. So don't fret! With time, these motions will feel second nature.


My first piece of advice is to keep working towards developing your ear to hear these moves. Charts are super helpful to wrap your brain around things, but if you can push yourself to look around and keep your head up, you'll reach your goals much quicker—I promise! The second piece of advice is to focus on groove and rhythm. Simplify and find that one note that seems to work, hang out there, and get the "Charleston" rhythm right in the pocket. We'll level up the vocabulary over time, we ain't in no rush!


Lastly, guitarists, you don't have to stress about all those extensions on the chord symbols: prioritize playing major and minor triads first and nailing them down. Cowboy chords are totally fine, but work towards barre chords next since they can work in any key. (Truth be told, it's what a lot of the greats played anyways). The next most useful shape are going to be your dominant 7th chords. You'll start to notice cycle-of-fifth motions all over the place in swing tunes, and so dominant chords tend to be the connective tissue that glues it all together. Use the following two shapes and start practicing those motions:


  1. A Dominant Chord with the root on the 6th String

      A7 = 575655

(barre with your index finger on the 5th fret)

  1. A Dominant Chord with the root on the 5th String D7 = x5453x


Try moving around the cycle of fifths alternating between these shapes, all dominant chords. These two shapes combined with major and minor triads will cover 95% of anything you'll need! Plug them in on the tune "All of Me," and we can play it together at next Monday's jam!


May the stoke never die, y'all!

-David Baker


Listening Room: Music Appreciation for Non-Musicians

How Do I Dance Country Swing?

Are you planning to come out to our Swing Renaissance event this month? Are you dipping your toes into swing dancing? In addition to the wonderful instruction you'll receive from Salt City Swing, we wanted to show you some other vibes that might feel appropriate at our Western Swing-themed night. Don't worry if dancing isn't your thing—you can always just hoot, holler, and have a good time too!

Check out some beginning dance moves below:


Our Purpose

Our purpose is to create experiences of connectedness, learning, and joy through the language of acoustic music.


Our Vision

We envision Salt Lake City as a hub for world class acoustic music. We accomplish this by building a healthy community-oriented ecosystem that’s accessible for all.

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!

1 view0 comments


bottom of page