Hot Club Sandwich
More than fifteen years ago, hot-jazz string band Hot Club Sandwich was founded in Olympia, WA with the instrumentation of guitars, bass, violin, mandolin and drums. Each band member is also a contributing composer and arranger, and everyone in the band sings. The forthcoming fifth Hot Club Sandwich recording, No Pressure, features a title track by the group’s 74-year-old guitarist Ray Wood, and a guest appearance by mandolinist David Grisman. As the name suggests, the Hot Club Sandwich repertoire carries a reverence for Gypsy Jazz along with folkloric influences from around the world that flourished during the same era. In some cases, the band has been known to venture into Western twang territory, including in collaboration with the late legend Dan Hicks.
Members of Hot Club Sandwich
Violinist Tim Wetmiller is an adventurous improviser, skilled in many genres. He plays bluegrass with the bluegrass outfits Dysfunction Junction and the Neighborhood Boys, and performs traditional latin music with Los Flacos. In recent years, his batting average has remained close to 400 for his club baseball team.
Ray Wood is revered as an ‘almost-legendary’ guitarist, and has spent 70 years performing in the Northwest, New Orleans, and East Asia. An instructor at events including Puget Sound Guitar Workshop and the Weiser Old-Time Fiddle Contest, he was a founding member of the Rhythm Rockets, one of the Northwest's first rock and roll bands. Literally a walking music archive, Ray also serves as band mechanic.
Kevin Connor is an avid composer in the gypsy 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, where he serves as chief joke-teller.
Mandolinist Matt Sircely is a composer fluent in many styles. Also a songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, instructor, producer and writer, Sircely’s articles have appeared in publications including the Fretboard Journal and Bluegrass Unlimited. Matt’s first solo release appears on Danny Barnes’ Minner Bucket Records.
James Schneider is the founding bassist of Hot Club Sandwich. In addition to the upright bass, James plays guitar, mandolin, and banjo i a variety of traditional acoustic music contexts. He is also a Humanities Professor in Olympia, WA where he directs the SPSCC/Evergreen State College's jazz big band.
An outstanding vocalist, composer and improvisor, drummer Joseph Mascorella is a creative powerhouse. Alaska born and raised, Joeseph is oft sought by regional ensembles. Mascorella also appeared onscreen, including in Urbanworld (2005) alongside Ishmael Butler, 'Butterfly' of the Diggable Planets, famed innovators of melodic hip-hop.