Hot House Jazz Band
Hot House plays Great American Jazz, as they like to call it. Hot House is unique, contagiously fun, and swings like mad
. It was the summer of 1978 when the Hot House jazz band got its start as South Rampart Street Parade. The band was a collection of college music majors, except for Jim Smith, the banjo player. The band played at the Gaslight Village and Storytown in Lake George New York. The summer of 1979 the band performed at Great Adventure in Jackson New Jersey. In 1980 the band changed its name to Killer Jim and His East Coast jazz band and they provided the music for the Gaslight Theatre in Tucson Arizona. Eventually all the members graduated from college and they regrouped in Pennsylvania. The name Hot House was chosen and incorporation was completed. Hot House was a roster artist with the PA Council on the Arts and PennPAT. Over the years members have come and gone and the band shrank to a trio featuring Jim Smith on tenor guitar and vocals, Paul Butler on clarinet and vocals and Eric Henry, on tuba and vocals. The Hot House trio worked for seven years as the house band for the Magnolia Café in Philadelphia winning the “Best of Philly” award. It was active in touring and performing residencies in school districts. In 1999 Hot House performed a concert at the Kennedy Center the night before departing on a Jazz Ambassador tour for the U.S. Department of State. Over a period of a month Hot House performed in Syria, Jordan, Bahrain, Qatar, Tunisia and Morocco.
Jim Smith hails from Horseheads New York. He is a founding member of Hot House, having started with the original band in 1978. He began by playing the tenor banjo but over the years he evolved into performing almost exclusively on the tenor guitar. I say almost because Jim plays upright bass and picks-up the banjo once in awhile. Jim performs as a freelancer with bands in the Philadelphia area and is also a frequent solo performer.
Paul Butler joined the band in 1979, one year after it had started. He is a multiple reed instrumentalist but focuses on clarinet in Hot House. He can be heard playing bass clarinet on one of the Hot House CDs. Paul is a busy freelancer in the Philly area as well as a teacher. Talk to Paul about NASCAR aSet featured imagend he’ll bend you ear for hours.
Eric Henry is tubist and founding member of Hot House; He plays in the Harrisburg Symphony, Lancaster Symphony and York Symphony. He teaches at Messiah College, Millersvillle and Susquehanna Universities. He lives in his hometown of Carlisle.
Hot House has recorded, Pucker for Y’ALL, Spetchin’ at the Thoik, Hot House Live (at the Kennedy Center) and Bleemheeglers and Glue.
Hot House also founded a 501c3 charitable organization called Children Improvising Music, which provides music making and improvising opportunities for children.