The Barrelhouse Jive Cats started as a Seattle street band playing dixieland jazz in the summer of 2015. It has gone through multiple incarnations since, as putting together a jazz combo is like herding cats, a very apt metaphor for the strong-willed and often eccentric personalities of those who commit their lives to the art of playing jazz.
Founder and saxophonist James Walls has been performing around the Seattle area since 1998, as well as other cities in the western US. He has played all styles of music with dozens of different groups. But traditional jazz and blues is where his passion lies. With such a deep love of jazz and traditional/dixieland style swing in particular, James was inspired to start The Barrelhouse Jive Cats after observing that swing is a universally loved music. It goes straight to the heart and the soul, making you smile and move their feet! You don't need to know the songs, the melodies are instantly contagious. You don't need to know how to dance either, your feet and body will instinctively move to the beat, you can't help it! It's a happy and timeless music that has endured the ages as other styles have faded into the horizon. And people will be playing traditional swing centuries from now with as much passion as it was played in the 1920's and today.