Small and Elegant
It was in the summer of 2017, when a number of talented musicians decided to bring back the popular music of the 1920s, 1930s and early 1940s. This music is early jazz and syncopated dance music, a genre we call the “almost forgotten music”, although it was once the most popular music played in the United States and in Western Europe.
The drivers behind the group have been two individuals:
Gerhard Bauer, owner and producer of PhonotoneClassic (phonotoneclassic.com), an internet radio station that plays dance music and traditional Jazz from 1925-1945, who thought it would be wonderful to not only feature restored vintage music recordings, but to also perform this wonderful music live for today’s listeners. He plays the vintage drums in the band.
Kevin Hamby is an accomplished jazz / stride pianist and the band leader, who took on the formidable task of putting together a professional jazz combo.
FOR jazz lovers
Phonotone Bijou small and elegant
Initially, a small band was founded, consisting of 5 band members: Kevin Hamby, piano, Gerhard Bauer, drums, Luis Lupercio, the truly outstanding saxophone player, and the award winning string bass player Ryan Woempner. Elizabeth Unpingco, our award winning vocalist, has also been part of the band from the very beginning.
We felt that two additional band members were still needed to make our combo complete. In May of 2018, accomplished guitar player Billy Sanders joined, and soon afterwards, Ian Ellis, an outstanding trombonist became our final band member. Now the group was ready for its final christening with a name that would stand out. The name everybody loved was "Phonotone Bijou", small and elegant, like a jewel.
Our band has been performing locally since the Fall of 2017, with great acclaim from the audience.
From left to right:
Ian Ellis, trombone
Luis Lupercio, saxophone
Gerhard Bauer, drums
Elizabeth Unpingco, vocal
Billy Sanders, guitar
Kevin Hamby, piano
Ryan Woempner, string bass
FOR jazz lovers
THE music you want when you want it