Biography: Bob Hallahan Swingtet
The Bob Hallahan Swingtet and featured vocalist K Strong bring a wealth of musical experience, energy and skill to the stage whenever they perform, be it for a corporate function, a private event, or a public concert or dance. Well-versed in the vintage jazz and swing music of the 1930's through the 1950's, their music guarantees a swinging good time for all who come within earshot, whether the situation calls for music that fills the dance floor, or music that provides a lively yet appropriately subdued background to conversation. The group's instrumentation and size can easily be varied to fit the nature and budget of an event, ranging anywhere from an intimate piano and vocal duo to a full rhythm section plus vocals and several horns reminiscent of the classic big-band sound. The Swingtet's musical style and repertoire is inspired by the music of such well-known swing-era bandleaders as Glen Miller, Duke Ellington, Count Basie, and Woody Herman, and vocalists Ella Fitzgerald, Peggy Lee, Frank Sinatra, Nat "King" Cole and Tony Bennett.
Having grown up listening to and singing the music of those swing-era icons and many others, K Strong is able to interpret their music with an air of natural authenticity. She has worked from Virginia to New York as a professional singer, actress, dancer and choreographer for more than two decades, including appearances as featured singer with the Richmond Symphony performing the music of Irving Berlin and Richard Rogers and Oscar Hammerstein, and numerous notable performances as actress, choreographer or director in musical productions such as "The 1940's Radio Hour" at Barksdale Theater. With that kind of background and expertise, when K sings, you don't just hear a song sung well - it is delivered in a way that you experience it and feel it. And it swings! K is perhaps most widely known for her seven year stint acting in television commercials as "The Grocery Store" girl.
Since beginning his decades-long career as a professional pianist, Bob Hallahan has been heard across the country and around the world, in concerts, nightclubs and jazz festivals from East Coast to West, and as far as Beijing, China, where he toured as part of a cultural exchange sponsored by United Airlines. He has appeared as a featured solo pianist at The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, and as a sideman in concert and club appearances with swing-era luminary and singer Anita O’Day (formerly with drummer Gene Krupa's big band) and trumpeter Clark Terry (formerly with Doc Severinsen and the Tonight Show Band and Duke Ellington), and as pianist on tour with The Harry James Orchestra, The Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra and singer René Marie. Bob was named 1999 Music Director of the Year by Richmond, Virginia’s Style Magazine for his work in the world premiere musical Ella and Her Fella Frank: a Concert Made in Heaven, based on the music of Frank Sinatra and Ella Fitgerald. Jazz writer Joel Siegel of Washington D.C.’s City Paper and Jazz Times magazine described Bob as a “ … thoughtful, lyrical pianist (who) can swing hard when required…”, and Owen Cordle of The Raleigh News and Observer has found his playing “… reminiscent of Oscar Peterson at his most swinging…”.
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