Bands & Venues
THE JASPER SHRAKE QUARTET AT THE VINEWOOD
Born and raised in Topeka KS, Jasper Shrake has been involved in music for as long as he can remember. In 2018, graduated with a Bachelor’s in Music Education and a Bachelor’s of Music in Performance with emphasis in classical and jazz trumpet.
Notable musicians Jasper has performed with or backed include Wayne Bergeron, Gordon Goodwin, Andy Martin, Roger Ingram, Rob Scheps, Byron Stripling, and Jim O'Connor.
Jasper maintains a healthy career performing in Topeka and Lawrence with his quartet, and aims to be a positive example and advocate for the opportunities music can provide for students regardless of their background or circumstances.
Learn more about Jasper Shrake at his website here.
DJ Dbl A (Alan Akers)
Alan (DJ Dbl A) found swing dancing in 1997 when he moved to Kansas City and hasn’t stopped dancing since. At one point he could be found dancing 3-4 nights a week around town at different swing venues. Needless to say, it became a major part of his life. Cut to 22 years later. Now he can primarily be found at Swing Night on Fridays at the Chesterfield, where with the help of DJ Shillzapoppin, he runs the weekly event he started 8 years ago to keep swing alive in Kansas City. Alan has a large selection of music and loves to play music to make people dance. He once won a DJ contest in Vegas playing Richard Cheese’s Cover of Aqua Teen Hunger Force theme song (true story)!
BEGINNER AND INTERMEDIATE CLASSES
BATTLE OF THE BIG BANDS AT THE JAYHAWK THEATRE
Radio Days Orchestra
The Radio Days Orchestra has been playing authentic arrangements of American popular music from the 1920s, 30s, and 40s for over 30 years. Based out of both Kansas City and Topeka, the orchestra performs regularly at weddings, dances, or any special event, recreating the sounds of the Swing era for modern audiences.
Find out more about Radio Days Orchestra here.
785 Big Band
The 785 Big Band was formed in the summer of 2017 to spread the big band sound to anyone who might enjoy it. In it's third season playing the First Friday Art Walks in Topeka, the band has developed its repertoire to include hits from Basie, Kenton, Buddy Rich, and Thad Jones. Comprised primarily of local musicians, the 785 band highlights some of what makes Topeka so great!!
The band is always looking for opportunities to play, educate, or accept support from private parties as well as larger organizations, look us up on Facebook for more info and to get in touch!
DJ Shillzapoppin (Peter Shilliday)
As a swing dancer and musician since 2009, DJ Shillzapoppin, a.k.a. Peter Shilliday, has dedicated over a decade to hunting for the top secret formula of swing music that makes it so darn… well… swingin’! In 2012, he picked up DJing as a way to showcase the latest and greatest of his fanatical research. While his music library is rooted in the classic recordings of the Swing era, Peter also aims to promote today's swing bands to support current musicians in the genre, especially the local bands in his home scene of Kansas City.
Photo courtesy of the Facebook group Kansas City Saturday Swing Dancing.
Battle of the Big Bands tickets will go on sale
mid-August on the Jayhawk Theatre website.
Battle of the Big Bands tickets are included in weekend passes. Purchase weekend passes here.
JAZZ BRUNCH, CLASSES, AND LINDY HOP FLASHMOB IN NOTO
For our final social dance we will dance in a green space just north of Norsemen Brewing (835 N Kansas Ave, Topeka, KS 66608). Come dance, or stop by and watch, then stop by Norsemen for a refreshing beverage.