In 1983 a group of talented musicians attending Arizona State University formed a musical ensemble whose artistic focus centered on the musical traditions of early New Orleans jazz. Now, over three decades later, the Side Street Strutters continue to expand their musical palette to encompass nearly a century of classic American jazz.
The Strutters have presented formal concerts, symphony pops performances and student outreach programs in all fifty states, seven European countries, Canada and Mexico. Their superb musicianship and award-winning orchestrations have earned them national and international acclaim. Among their awards and accolades are NEA-awarded fellowships and grants; State Arts Council Roster Artists; First Place Honors, Breda International Jazz Competition, Holland; National radio and television appearances; International Association of Jazz Educators Outstanding Musicianship Award; appearances at dozens of European and U.S. jazz festivals, a guest presidential performance, and 12 CD recordings. Additionally, the Strutters have been entertaining guests at the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, CA. for 22 years.
In 2000, the ensemble made the decision to take on the challenge of creating a symphony pops program, and have since shared the stage with major orchestras including Houston, Rochester, Phoenix, Jacksonville, Pasadena and San Antonio. In celebration of their 25th anniversary, the Strutters revisited the roots of jazz with Back To Bourbon Street, a colorful show embracing the spirit, festiveness and culture of New Orleans. In 2013, the band unveiled Shiny Stockings featuring, for the first time, the vocal stylings of Meloney Collins. This popular show combined Ms. Collin's sassy, yet sultry, personality and soulful voice with the Strutters exciting musical arrangements, personable humor and showmanship, to create a musical theater experience that captures the essential charm and vibrant energy of golden age of jazz.
The Strutters are excited to share their latest musical project Vinyl Jazz, A Century Celebration. As the world embraces the 100th anniversary of recorded jazz, the Strutters, with Meloney Collins, invite audiences to enjoy a potpourri of jazz, pop and R&B melodies that have shaped our musical landscape. Audiences can expect to hear songs that inspired entire generations, lyrics that reflected a particular time in our countries history, and melodies that played a significant role towards the development and enjoyment of American popular music.
“A breathtakingly tight ensemble with flashes of individual brilliance”
-The Herald. Lethbridge, Canada
“The swing numbers were overflowing with energy and presented with ease and elegance”
-Saarbrucken Zeitung, Germany
“A fabulous performance”
-Jack Fishman. Executive Director, Long Beach Symphony, CA
“The swing selections have all the essential elements of the big band sound. They are performed with fire and precision”
-Larry Elgart, “The Ambassador of Swing”
“The audience was able to hear the true level of their skill as a group, as well as their individual talents. They sparkled in their solos and the variety of the selections played”
-Sun Valley, ID
“Their non-stop excitement sent people jumping spontaneously to their feet”
-The Ole, AZ
“The Side Street Strutters play regularly at Disneyland, but there is nothing “Mickey Mouse” about them. These guys are good!”
-The Long Beach Gazette, CA