LULU SWING is a five-player ensemble, based in Seattle, WA, performing Hot Club Jazz and early French Swing music. Its founding members are Melanie Moralez (guitar), Adrienne Reed (accordion), and Jennie Kong Mayer (guitar) who first met in 2016 in a Jazz Night School "Gypsy Jazz Ensemble" class. They formed a trio, Mes Copines Gitanes (My Gypsy Friends), and later added Eve Sun as a vocalist. This founding quartet played for fundraisers, nursing homes, farmers markets, community groups, the swing dance community, and just for fun in the park. In 2017, Mes Copines became the Fremont neighborhood’s Restaurant Roux house band, playing there weekly. Around this time,. two outstanding musicians, Ingrid Matthews (violin) and Rachael Contorer (bass), began playing with the band, which soon re-branded as the Lulu Swing band--named after a tune in the Gypsy jazz canon.
The genre of music played by Lulu Swing has been dominated my male instrumentalists from the beginning and even on to today. Lulu Swing is one of only three all-female groups playing this style of music in the entire North American continent. That being said, the group is grateful that an old tradition of gender-exclusion in this genre is disappearing steadily. Much of that is owed to the female pioneers who took a leap despite the lack of role models, but also to the male music educators and fellow musicians who have been encouraging and welcoming along the way.
Lulu Swing's repertoire is always expanding and currently includes many Hot Club songs popularized by Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grappelli. They also perform French, Russian, and Latin-style tunes, old and contemporary waltzes (or musettes), and an array of American Swing and traditional standards.