Survivors Swing Band to swing into Arbor Park on July 21
By Steve Smith - Staff Writer
Ellington - posted Thu., Jul. 11, 2013
Survivors Swing Band saxophonist/founder Jules Bashkin said the band’s name came from the fact that most of its members are of the older set, so they could be called “survivors” of everything life has brought their way. But, he also feels that the term could refer to the music that they play.
“We’re old guys, mostly,” the 91-year-old senior member of the band said. “Primarily, we are playing music that has survived. The music is 70 to 90 years old, and has survived as American music that has spread throughout the world.”
The seven-piece swing band plays old American standards from the 1920s through the ’50s. They have about 200 songs in their repertoire.
“We can play just about anything,” Bashkin said.
The Survivors Swing Band grew from a group that met at the Wallingford Senior Center on Fridays for about five years before taking their act on the road about a year and a half ago. “We decided to go out to other places and see what we could do,” he said. Since then, the band has performed approximately 150 shows.
It took off right away, he said, making no bones about the fact that the music is most-enjoyed by those with more years under their belt, but there is usually a smattering of younger folks in the crowd, as well.
“We don’t play for the rock-and-roll crowd,” he said.
Despite the large number of appearances, Bashkin said the band is not getting rich, but rather, plays for a simpler, and perhaps more noble, reason. “We do it because we love to play,” he said, “because we love to see the audience. They don’t get very much swing music these days."