Hot Club Sandwich
Twenty years ago, hot-jazz string band Hot Club Sandwich formed in Olympia, WA after a chance meeting on a front porch. Each band member offers compositions and arrangements, with instrumentation featuring guitars, bass, violin, mandolin, drums, and vocal harmony. The fifth Hot Club Sandwich recording, No Pressure (2018), features a title track composed by guitarist Ray Wood and a guest appearance by master mandolinist David Grisman. As the name suggests, Hot Club Sandwich carries a reverence for the groundbreaking innovations of Django Reinhardt and Stéphane Grappelli, and the group’s repertoire incorporates folkloric influences from around the world which also flourished in the 1930s and ’40s. Hot Club Sandwich occasionally ventures into Western twang territory, including in collaboration with the legendary vocals of Dan Hicks on And If Only (2010). Visit the listen page to see and hear songs from one of our performances with Dan Hicks in 2007 at DjangoFest NW.
Members of Hot Club Sandwich:
Kevin Connor is an avid composer in the Django-jazz style. In 2013, he was awarded a Seattle City Arts grant to compose and record a CD of his own compositions. Connor leads his own dance-oriented band Swing 3PO, and also plays the Cuban tres for the acclaimed group SuperSones in Seattle.
Bassist James Schneider, a founding member of Hot Club Sandwich, also plays guitar, mandolin, and banjo. During the day, he is a Humanities Professor and directs the SPSCC/Evergreen State College's jazz big band. He plays in multiple bands in genres including jazz, swing, funk, and choro.
Mandolinist Matt Sircely is a songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, instructor, producer and writer. Sircely appears on many recordings and is a frequent contributor to The Fretboard Journal. Sircely's work as a performer, instructor and writer introduced him to many of the greatest mandolinists in the world. Sircely has led workshops at dozens of music events across North America and has served as an adjunct instructor at Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle. Matt’s first release of all-original songs, Humdinger Process, was released on Danny Barnes’ Minner Bucket Records label in 2015.
Violinist Tim Wetmiller is an adventurous improviser, skilled in many styles of traditional and improvised music. Around Seattle, Tim plays bluegrass with the bluegrass outfits Dysfunction Junction and the Neighborhood Boys, and he performs traditional Latin American folk music with the celebrated ensemble Los Flacos. In recent years, Tim’s batting average has remained steady as he continues to prioritize his local role on a club baseball team.
Ray Wood could be considered an ‘almost-legendary’ guitarist. Ray has spent the past seventy years performing across the Northwest. He has held residencies in New Orleans, and he lied about his age in 1959 to perform at USO halls across East Asia for nine years. Literally a walking archive of music, Ray was a founding member of the Rhythm Rockets, one of the Northwest's first rock and roll bands in the 1950s. An instructor at events including Puget Sound Guitar Workshop and the Weiser Old-Time Fiddle Contest’s Stickerville Sessions, Ray also serves as mechanic for the band when out on the road. An 'Ask Ray' page is currently under development on this site.