Want to Play Texas Swing? Gotta Learn How to Dance Too.

“You want to keep the audience happy.”

By Leah ScarpelliNovember 8, 2016 10:00 am,

Alex Dormont, bassist and bandleader for the Hot Texas Swing Band, has been playing dance halls for 40 years.

“I have the best seat in the house up there on the stage – [I get to] see the couples go by with smiles on their faces.”

Dormont makes a point to go dancing with his wife, even if he’s not playing a show.

“It’s good to be a dancing musician because then you know what beats work best and everything,” he says. “As a bandleader, I call the tunes – I sense what the crowd wants next: they want a shuffle now, or, they’re hungry for a waltz. You want to keep the audience happy.”

Dormont says Texas swing feels like a combination of jazz and country music.

“It’s just got so much spirit and layers of complexity – Texas swing has just got a lifeforce that I really like, but with subtlety,” he says. “Rock music kind of hits you in the chest and swing music makes you want to tap your feet and move.”