Auditions for a House Band at Your Swing Jazz Club

House Band Auditions Objective: listen to the various bands within the Swing style, pick a band as the house band at your new club, create an online advertisement (perhaps using PowerPoint) or homepage (using Microsoft Word or a web editor) to advertise your club and band by discussing the band’s stylistic characteristics.

My idea for a sample is the epitome of all jazz clubs – New York’s Cotton Club in Harlem.  Duke Ellington, an African-American, was the swing-style house band leader for many years and really gave the Cotton Club its well-deserved reputation as a Mecca for jazz musicians. The website for the Cotton Club (Links to an external site.) ( (Links to an external site.) -opens in a new tab. To close the tab with your keyboard in Chrome, press Ctrl+w, or Ctrl+F4) is worth a bit of time to research.  Their homepage is, of course, exceptional. Your advertisement or homepage may not be as thorough – and that is to be expected. However, if someone in your small group is a Web designer, your page could be very cool.

Artists that have arrived to audition for your new club are:

Benny Goodman

Fletcher Henderson

Tommy Dorsey

Roy Eldridge

Bunny Berigan

Jack Teagarden

Glenn Miller

Art Tatum

Benny Carter

Harry James

Buddy Rich

Lester Lanin

Erskine Hawkins

Errol Garner

Don Byas

Eddie Metz

Eddie Daniels

Fatz Waller

Lester Lannin

Gordon Goodwin

Mezz Mezzrow

Mugsy Spanier

Rosemary Clooney

Roy Eldridge

Sarah Vaughan

Willie “The Lion” Smith

Stan Kenton

(To listen to the artists listed above, please visit the “Swing Musicians” folder found inside Week #6.)

Pick six (6) swing artists from above to audition.  For each artist that auditions, you will need to give them appropriate feedback about why they weren’t selected.  This is usually done via a simple adjudication form such as this:            Instrument We Want to Hire:                  Instrument Artist Plays:             Artist’s use of the Swing style characteristics:

Rubric that will be used for grading your group’s advertisement / homepage:

Scoring mechanism: 3 pts – critical, 2 pts – important, 1 pt – bells & whistles



Your Score

Viewable document (homepage or ad) posted in discussion board


A single style period is presented


Artist feedback is available in a Word document and posted, too


Advertisement/homepage is submitted/viewable on time


House band leader is named (winner of the audition)


Musical style characteristics of the new leader are discussed


Location of the club is named (street, city, state, etc)


Operating hours of the club are available


Club has a name


Atmosphere/nature of the club is obvious in advertisement


Signature dinner or drink of the club


Club has a unique sign/symbol/monogram


Testimonials from TV/Movie stars include in advertisement/homepage


Sound clips are available/present on homepage


History of your club or development of your club is available


Rental space/catering/private parties are discussed