“Dancers and musicians feed off each other to create a magical experience. Playing for lindy hoppers is a specific art and any bandleader worth his salt realizes that the moment he plays his first dancing event. Swing music is unlike pop, house or disco music styles, which are powered by electronics and drum machines. But human beings breathe, and swing music breathes. When you play for dancers, the art is trying to breathe in sync with the dancers. It’s a fine line. I tell my rhythm section: ‘Watch the dancers; your interaction is with those dancers.’ George says.
He recalls the words of his all-time idol and mentor, Count Basie: “ ‘If they are dancing, that’s the highest compliment they can give you.’ But if they are not dancing, I look for that single cat snapping his fingers, tapping his toes. Then I know we’re OK!’ ”
A George Gee Swing Orchestra show puts a priority on fun for everyone, offering versatile appeal. For example, audiences may be surprised when during a duet with Hillary Gardner, fellow vocalist John Dokes steps off the bandstand and onto the dance floor and swings out. And bandleader George always fires up the crowds with his onstage persona. Audiences laugh along with the hilarious call-and-response patter on gems like “Every Day I Have the Blues,” or dance along with the called-out steps of the Shim Sham routine during our rendition of “Tain’t Whatcha Do.”