In October 2012, vocalist Chelsea Reed brought five of her friends together to play some tunes in a South Philly dining room. Secretly, her plan was to form a band that played for swing dancers, so she could finally have the chance to sing her favorite songs for an audience that loved early jazz as much as she did. Since that fateful afternoon, those men have comprised the Fair Weather Five: Noah Hocker on trumpet, Chris Oatts on saxophone, Jake Kelberman on guitar, Joe Plowman on bass, and Austin Wagner behind the drums.
Today Chelsea Reed and the Fair Weather Five are at home at swing dances, jazz clubs and concert halls alike.
They have played renowned Philadelphia venues like the Kimmel Center and World Cafe Live in addition to touring around the country in a trusty blue van. They love exploring the roots of jazz and finding creative ways to interpret forgotten songs. Drawing upon the influence of artists such as Bessie Smith, Fats Waller, Louis Armstrong and Billie Holiday, Chelsea Reed and the Fair Weather Five bring the intensity and passion of early jazz to every stage they play to put on one heck of a show.
Their new self-titled CD starts off with the upbeat “After You’ve Gone,” which will have you feeling like you’ve stepped back in time to the 1920s and you’re in an upscale-yet-fun supper club where everyone’s on the dance floor. Other songs that follow in the blues-jazz vein remind me of my time listening to buskers on the streets of the French Quarter in New Orleans.
As someone who performs music from the 1920s-1960s, I especially like this group and their musical selections, including “Ain’t Nobody’s Business” and “Nobody Knows You When You’re Down and Out.” If you like music that harkens back to a different era, seek Chelsea Reed and The Fair Weather Five out!