Those Delta Rhythm Kings Photo 2013

Those Delta Rhythm Kings – Photo provided by Ray Aleshire.

Those Delta Rhythm Kings (3 sets)
with special guests
Friday Aug 2, 2013 – Main Stage North

6:00 – 7:00pm with
Elden Kelly
8:30 – 9:30pm with
Julianna Wilson (and more.)
11:00 – 12:30am with
Kathleen Mendoza Walters (and more)

Their musical style loiters at the intersection where jazz meets blues – swinging “little big band” jump blues from the 1940’s and beyond. Every show is party time.

Founded in 1988 and based in Lansing, Michigan, they’ve performed coast-to-coast in state, into Canada and as far south as Memphis. They’ve played a host of club gigs and festivals of all kinds (including the very first Lansing Jazzfest). They’ve backed the great James Harman and have opened shows for Duke Robillard, Roomful of Blues, Pat Benatar and many, many others. TDRK has three recordings under their belt and one presently in progress.

Members of TDRK include:

  • Ray Aleshire, Vocals and Harmoica. Founding member, got into music after a stint in the US Army in the late 1970’s. His influences include Joe Turner and Jimmy Rushing.

  • Rod Aleshire, Bass. Also a founding member and a pretty fine guitarist, too. While still in high school he played cornet in a dixieland band called the Delta Rhythm Kings.

  • John Davidson, Guitar. Founding member of TDRK, welcomed on stage by most any blues band at most any time. Connoisseur and collector of vintage amps and guitars.

  • George Hirai, Baritone Sax. A graduate of the 1960’s Chicago scene, where he played for years before moving to Michigan. He originally came to TDRK as a bass player.

  • Chad Bement, Tenor Sax. Began playing professionally while still a student at Lansing Sexton High School. He hasn’t stopped since.

  • Janell Christie, Alto Sax. She holds a Doctorate of Music Arts from MSU in Classical Saxophone and studied some in France to obtain that degree. She also holds music degrees from CMU and Northwestern University.

  • Andy Wilson, Trumpet and Harmonica. Graduate of the MSU Jazz Studies program and member of more bands than can be named here, he has played all over the country. Primary arranger for TDRK.

  • Jeff Shoup, Drums. Current grad student in the MSU Jazz Studies Program and leader of a local jazz combo plus several local jazz jam sessions, among other projects. He’s gigged with Rodney Whitaker, Jim Alfredson and many other notables.

TDRK on Facebook

Elden Kelly nhr

Elden Kelly photo from George Kobreck Photography

6:00 to 7:00pm – Main Stage North – Friday Aug 2
TDRK with special guest Elden Kelly

This talented guitar player will leave the global sounds of his South Stage set and shift gears to the swinging, bluesy beat of the Kings.

Eldon Kelly Website

Julianna Wilson nhr

Julianna Wilson photo from The Springtails website.

8:30 to 9:30 pm
Main Stage North
Friday Aug 2
TDRK with special guest Julianna Wilson

Julianna has been singing for as long as she can remember, but it wasn’t until meeting harmonica-great Andy Wilson in 2008 that she really began to delve into jazz and blues standards of the early 20th century. She bought her first ukulele in 2009 and started collecting and experimenting with a variety of tunes. She’s part of The Springtails, also known for re-imagined pop and folk songs and carefully crafted originals. See what she cooks up when backed by the Rhythm Kings.

The Springtails Website

Kathleen Mendoza Walters

Kathleen Mendoza Walters photo from performer facebook profile

11:00 to 12:00 am – Main Stage North Friday Aug 2
TDRK with special guest
Kathleen Mendoza Walters & more

Helping Those Delta Rhythm Kings close out JazzFest’s Friday music will be Kathleen, a frequent performer at Old Town BluesFest with her Blues Junkies band, and as one of the Capital City Blues Queens. This local favorite (winner of a People’s Choice Award), who’s also shared the stage with national artists, will be right at home with Those Delta Rhythm Kings’ bluesy spin on jazz.

Kathleen Mendoza Walters on Facebook