The Swinging Belles
The Swinging Belles, a JUNO award-winning swing band for kids from St. John’s, NL, are intent on getting both kids and adults to kick up their heels and have a swinging good time with the whole family!
The Swinging Belles feature child educators and performers Laura Winter and Erin Power joined by guitarist extraordinaire Duane Andrews. This show is all about getting kids and parents out to have a dance and enjoy some swing country and jazz…kid style. As primary school teachers, both Laura and Erin know first hand the joy that kids feel when they can boogie to some good time music, and as parents, Duane and Erin know the importance of enjoying the music that our kids are listening to! The show is packed with music, interactive storytelling and dancing…lots of dancing!
Both Erin and Laura have recently completed Masters degrees in Education and Folklore respectively. They have been working in the classroom for the past number of years and their love of folk, swing jazz and country music seeped into their pedagogy and is showcased through songs and stories supported by guitars, mandolins, banjos and ukuleles. By night, the two are part of folk/country group The Dilettantes who have recorded 3 albums (The Topsham Cottage Diaries, Otters and Elders, and Roots and Boots) as part of the RPM challenge and perform in the local music circuit. Guitar guru Duane Andrews is an established international performer having performed on stages such as the Newport Folk and Montreal Jazz festivals. He is an accomplished composer and producer as well. This multi-award winning artist is thrilled to be able to bring his passion for Swing Jazz and NL traditional music to an enthusiastic young audience.
With funding support from MusicNL and the NL Arts Council, The Swinging Belles released their debut album More Sheep, Less Sleep in December 2014. The album won a JUNO for Children’s Album of the Year, a Canadian Folk Music Award for the same category, and two MusicNL awards (Group of the Year and Jazz/Blues Album of the Year). The Swinging Belles have been busy this summer touring their home province of Newfoundland & Labrador. The band will be performing at the 2017 Calgary’s International Children’s Festival and The Winnipeg Folk Festival, with a regional East Coast tour scheduled for the Fall. The group is currently working on a new interactive website that will feature new video content, games, and fun crafts for their young audience. Television is also on the horizon with a pilot project already complete.
Awards/Nominations & Highlights
2016 JUNO WINNER – Children’s Album of the Year
2015 Canadian Folk Music Award WINNER – Children’s Album of the Year
2015 MusicNL Award Nominee – Group of the Year, Jazz/Blues Recording of the Year
2015 Intl’ Songwriting Competition Finalists – “Sock Gnomes” and “Some Monsters”