Joe Smith and the Spicy Pickles Jazz Band is a Denver-based vintage jazz band dedicated to revitalizing swing music and dance. This small group style swing band packs a punch of power, personality, and wit into each show, intriguing generations new and old with the beloved charm of big band swing from the late 30’s and early 40’s. The Pickles bring it all – high energy, quality musicianship, and an authentic big band sound and look that celebrate the unique American spirit of swing. The band fuses musical influences from the sounds of Count Basie, Benny Goodman, and Artie Shaw with the showmanship of Louis Armstrong, Lucky Millinder, and Jimmy Lunceford. With a smart respect for the preservation of vintage jazz music and entertainment, the Pickles are constantly adding new and original tunes to their repertoire. They bring a unique visual flair to each performance with gimmicks, tricks, horn movements, and hat work inspired to captivate audiences all night long.
Trumpet player and vocalist, Joe Smith, started the band in January of 2013 to give dancers live music to swing out to. Since the bands’ inception, the Pickles have held a special place in their heart for the swing dance community. The band travels from coast to coast to play their spicy tunes at swing dance events both large and small, and inspire dancers to fall in love with jazz over and over again. The group is notorious for their spot on arrangements and electrifying energy during competitions. The band is known to regularly keep dancers on their feet truckin’ until 4 in the morning. Recent dance events and Jazz Festivals that the Pickles have performed at include:
San Diego Jazz Festival (San Diego, CA)
Sun Valley Jazz Festival (Sun Valley, ID)
Evergreen Jazz Festival (Evergreen, CO)
Chase Garrett's Boogie Woogie Piano Stomp (Iowa City)
Beantown Camp (Boston)
Mile High Blues (Denver)
Lindy on the Rocks (Denver)
Killer Diller Weekend (Seattle)
Music City Exchange (Nashville)
The Pickles pride themselves on being the most professional swing band in the business. They are easygoing, flexible, and open to collaborating with other musicians and entertainers. The band has taught master classes at the University of Iowa, and often invites students to sit in for a song or two during shows. All of the members of the band are devoted to their craft, which ranges from playing, composing, and producing music, to teaching students, planning swing dance events, and restoring instruments.
The Pickles have recorded 2 EP’s: “Extra Spicy” in 2013, and “Rocky Mountain High” in 2014. Following the success of their EP's, the band won first place in Seattle’s Jazz Dance Film Festival with “Movin’ Groovy” featuring original music by the band. In July of 2015 the band released “High-Fidelity,” a full-length album featuring all original music written by the band. "Blues A Mile High," an album of all blues music was released by the Spicy Pickles in October of 2016.
Joe Smith & The Spicy Pickles are proud to be an artist endorser for Ear Trumpet Labs, Earthtone Drumheads, and more.
Joe Smith & The Spicy Pickles is an artist on the record label Cuttin' Records.
The current lineup for Joe Smith and The Spicy Pickles:
Joe Smith- Trumpet and Vocals
Elijah Samuels- Clarinet and Tenor Sax
Decker Babcock- Trombone
Luke Smith- Guitar
BK Kahn- Drums
Gary Sloan- Bass
Cara Griffith - Vocals