The Cab Calloway Orchestra featuring Nicole Zuraitis
Cab Calloway was the King of HI-DE-HO. The jazz singer, dancer and bandleader was a regular performer at the Cotton Club in Harlem and was one of the most popular vocalists of the swing era. In a career that spanned 65 years, he found a niche for mixing jazz and vaudeville and his song, “Minnie the Moocher,” spawned his catch phrase, “HI-DE-HO.” He reached the Billboard charts in five consecutive decades and he was in classic films like Stormy Weather and Porgy and Bess. In 1980, he even appeared in The Blues Brothers. He was the first African-American musician to sell a million records from a single song and to have a nationally syndicated radio show. “Minnie the Moocher” was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame and he was inducted into the Big Band and Jazz Hall of Fame and the International Jazz Hall of Fame. He received a posthumous Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2008.
Today, the baton of the Cab Calloway Orchestra is carried by the Prince of HI-DE-HO, Calloway’s grandson, Calloway Brooks. Based at the historic jazz club, “Birdland,” in New York and at venues across the country, the Cab Calloway Orchestra melds the sound of a jazz orchestra and a snazzy stage style that proves that “swing is king and jive is alive.” The original vintage records of Cab Calloway are the starting off point, but the Cab Calloway Orchestra of today brings the modern jazz orchestra into full flight. In a review of the show, the band was called, “crisp, loud, brassy and classy.”
Brooks got his first guitar when he was 7, won his first musical awards at 9 and went on to graduate from the prestigious New England Conservatory of Music, the first major conservatory to offer a degree in Jazz Music. He studied with many luminaries, but considers the cornerstone of his musical education the years of experience with his grandfather.
Appearing with the Cab Calloway Orchestra is Grammy nominated vocalist and songwriter Nicole Zuraitis. A fixture at Greenwich Village’s 55 Bar and Birdland Jazz Club, she charms audiences with her dazzling vocals, keyboard artistry and songwriting. She and her husband, Dan Pugach, were nominated for a Grammy for their arrangement of the Dolly Parton classic, “Jolene,” and her album, Hive Mind won Best Jazz Album for the 2018 International Music and Entertainment Awards. Her latest album, All Wandering Hearts, was released in May 2020. Jazz Inside Magazine said that she had a voice that’s “hard to ignore, with a remarkable range where you can’t help but stop and take notice.”
You’ve got the best of swing and the best of song. HI-DE-HO!