In the summer of 2016...
In June of 2016, Shaye Cohn assembled an all-female cast of traditional jazz musicians to perform for Girls Rock New Orleans. Requests to play started pouring in, and the band agreed they’d love to continue working together. Although Shaye wouldn't be able to continue with the band as a full-time member, Haruka Kikuchi joined up, bringing along her Kid Ory-inspired trombone. Marla Dixon, Chloe Feoranzo, Haruka Kikuchi, Molly Reeves, Julie Schexnayder, and Defne 'Dizzy' Incirlioglu have been playing together since that first performance.
On the strength of their first performances, and because of the stellar reputations of the individual musicians, Shake‘Em Up Jazz Band was immediately booked as a special guest at the Abita Springs Opry, the Nevermore Jazz Ball and the Umbria Jazz Festival in Perugia, Italy. The band has also enjoyed a steady stream of bookings at various New Orleans clubs, including Preservation Hall, Spotted Cat Music Club, Maison Frenchmen, Fritzel's, Three Muses, The New Orleans Jazz National Historic Park (U.S. National Park Service) at the Old U.S. Mint, and is looking forward to making their debut at both French Quarter Fest and at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival in April 2018.
In June 2017, Shake‘Em Up headed into Bunny Friend Studio (brainchild of Shake‘Em Up’s own Molly Reeves) recorded a 10-track session under the title ‘Le Donne Mangiano Zucchero’. Shake‘Em Up is excited to head into the studio again in January 2018 to record an album featuring women composers from the 1910s-1930s.
Clarinet & Vocals
Chloe Feoranzo is a 25 year old clarinet and saxophonist who has been performing professionally since the age of 15. She grew up playing in youth orchestras, musical pits, along with swing, dixieland bands and guest artist at festivals of the Southern California area. She just completed a three year tour with Pokey LaFarge. The band toured many countries and appeared on various shows like, The Late Show with David Letterman, Prairie Home Companion and the Grand Ole Opry. She now resides in New Orleans, LA as a freelance musician and has begun touring part time with Postmodern Jukebox.
Trumpet & Vocals
Marla Dixon learned to play trumpet in high school but, after an odd, (albeit fun), year with a British Drum Corps band, she stopped making music. Seven years later, she wandered into exactly the right Toronto dive bar at precisely the right time and heard Kid Bastien's Happy Pals playing the music she'd always loved, but had never heard live.
Having begun her earnest traditional jazz education in the bars of Toronto and New Orleans, Marla relocated to Louisiana in 2009 and soon found her way back to the front-line, singing and playing trumpet with groups like her own Shotgun Jazz Band.
Trombone & Vocals
Haruka Kikuchi was born in Ibaraki Prefecture and raised in Chiba Prefecture (next to Tokyo), JAPAN. She was musically inclined from her childhood for playing the piano and violin, listening all kind of music, and dancing with the music on the street.
When she was 15 years old, Haruka decided to play the Trombone right after listening the old record of "Original Dixieland Jazz Band" and the unique style of the tailgate Trombone inspired her so much. Through dedicated self-instruction, she discovered the beautiful music from New Orleans - the birthplace of Jazz.
Guitar & Vocals
New Orleans-based guitarist and vocalist Molly Reeves has been called “a wise, old musical soul with a creative vision embodying decades of hipster musical experience”(locobop) and is quickly being recognized as a rising star in swing and traditional jazz circles. As a guitarist molly has forged a unique voice within the acoustic archtop guitar tradition
As an accompanist Molly has gained notoriety for her hard-swinging rhythm guitar playing and become an in demand sideman among New Orleans hot jazz groups. She can regularly be seen performing as a member of the New Orleans Jazz Vipers--a veritable institution of swing music within New Orleans vibrant Frenchman Street scene. Molly has been called “a breathtaking vocalist, with a heavenly voice” (JazzdaGama)
DEFNE "DIZZY" INCIRLIOGLU
Washboard & Percussion
A dizzying bio soon will be spun.
Julie Schexnayder was born in New Orleans and raised in the River Parishes where she grew up hearing her father (electric bass) playing in local venues and festivals. Given informal piano lessons by her dad (Fats Domino shuffles come to mind), she started tinkering by ear and was given formal piano lessons starting at age 4, dropping the lessons as a young teen to focus primarily on dance.
Fortunate enough to be immersed in music, both at home and through the sounds of South Louisiana’s rich live music scene, Julie’s first real exposure to traditional jazz didn’t come until she moved back to New Orleans in 2011 and found a thriving dance and music scene revitalized in large part by the band she’d eventually end up playing with - The Loose Marbles. A professional dancer in her early twenties (including for our own New Orleans Saints), Julie jumped into the swing dance scene in New Orleans. Inspired by the music she was dancing to, and having always wanted to play music with others, she bought a starter upright bass in October 2013, and in December 2014, she played her first gig with the Loose Marbles, with whom she can regularly be found playing. Julie lives in the Marigny where she is also the founder/ owner of Community Pilates.