Music

Check out everyone who’s coming to share great music with us in New Haven! For the details of when and where, check out our Schedule

Bands

Grit Rhythm 

They blew our mind with their rich a mellow blues at last year’s Saturday late night dance. Now they’re throwing energizing swing into the mix to help us kick off our weekend with style!
Grit Rhythm’s blue collar and electrified charm, delivered by powerhouse singer and New Haven native Matt Rhone, stirs emotions with mellow blues grooves and high-test rhythmic ballads. With soul, for the soul.

Amy Kucharik and Friends with Benefits

 

Amy Kucharik is a ukulele-slinging singer-songwriter based in Somerville, MA. The 2015 Kerrville Grassy Hill New Folk winner explores the full range of her instrument’s capabilities as a tool to convey a complex array of subjects and moods: Whether humorous, topical or intense, she steers listeners away from the ukulele’s perception as a twee novelty. At the same time, Amy wants her audience to have a good time, and her performances are infused with Vaudevillian charm and an infectious, danceable swing. Her music draws from a range of influences including blues, ragtime jazz, folk, pop and country… as well as aesthetics garnered from film and literature. Amy’s catchy, sexy, sometimes haunting songs recount tales of reluctant love, heartbreak, revenge, and grit. Originally from Southern IL, Amy grew up playing classical piano and studied french horn from the 6th grade through college. At Southern Illinois University, Amy studied art and creative writing, ultimately earning her MFA in poetry, meanwhile playing horn in the University Wind Ensemble. However, it was after moving to Boston and through a swing dancing friend that Amy first became interested in the ukulele, the instrument that ignited her songwriting. In 2012, she put together her band, Friends With Benefits. Amy’s band features a revolving assortment of talented musicians who perform regularly in New England. Their 2013 EP, “Dance Crush Blues,” was created as a tribute to their mutual love of the swing and blues dance community. The band was selected to perform at Montreal Bagel & Blues 2014 dance exchange and Boston’s Sweet Molasses Blues exchange in 2013 and 2015

Brian Anderson, Chris Cavaliere, and Kenny Owens

Joining us for the first time, Brian Anderson, Chris Cavaliere, and Kenny Owens will be playing a live late night set to help us keep a soulful groove going all night long!

DJs

Emiliano (Emilio) Estevez

Emiliano has a background in Lindy Hop, Blues, Hip-Hop, House, Tango, and a host of movements from many other genres. He has been dancing since late 2000 and continues to add new ideas and movements to his style. Emilio teaches weekly classes in Lancaster, PA, taught at national events such as the Fusion Exchange; Albany Lindy and Blues; Blues Recess, and workshops in many locations like Montreal; Seattle; Austin; and Philadelphia.

Emiliano DJs at many events locally and nationally providing a groovy flavor of Blues, Lindy, and Fusion styles of music. He believes that a diverse set will challenge the dancers and make sure that they are listening with their minds and bodies. He also runs DJ Experiment which is an organization created to give DJs, musicians, and dancers a safe place to experiment and grow.

Dance is a conversation…

Neil Benen

Neil is originally from and still lives in New York City. He actively started social partner dancing in 2011 and shortly thereafter began DJ’ing both fusion and blues events. One of his greatest pleasures is to endlessly search for musical treasures, weaving them together as if almost telling a story, so that it acts as a cohesive force to keep the energy flowing and dancers dancing.

 

Olivia Campbell

Olivia Campbell is a postgraduate microbiology researcher at the Yale School of Public Health, but she would usually rather be swing dancing. Growing up in a family of classical musicians inspired her love of all things music, and she cannot wait to share her enthusiasm by DJing for Elm City Exchange!

 

 

 

Rose Fullerton King

Rose Fullerton King (aka DJ Butts McGee) has been dancing and DJing fusion for four years in New Haven, Denver, and the Bay Area. Her sets are intensely ecclectic, encompassing everything from 80’s pop to cumbia to celtic, but her favorite dancing tunes are the mellow, melty ones. She’s excited to play music for you (and dance with you!) at ECX.

 

 

 

Aric Wellman

Aric has been djing for 5 years.  He collects all of his own music, so you know he loves what he will play for you. Blues from all genres, slow and sassy to fast and brassy will keep you going all night.  Swing tunes that are  fun and not often heard will keep you swinging out. You will enjoy the whole night, come one out and dance.

 

Tina Su

Moonlighting as a dancer and DJ, Tina is excited to play a bit of the unexpected for you all! Obligatory 80s Chinese pop alongside some soothing EDM (with a healthy dose of musical drama). Please ask her to dance :)!

 

 

Emily Pan

Emily found lindy hop fresh out of high school, and she hasn’t stopped dancing since. When she isn’t drowning in a sea of required reading, she likes to build swing playlists, acquire more lipsticks, write bad poetry, and read good books for fun. Ask her to dance!

 

 

 

Emilio Salazar

Emilio is an avid dancer and DJ in the New Haven fusion scene. His music tends to the electronic, though he loves popping in instrumental and vocal tracks. He has recently defended his Ph.D. in neuroscience and will be moving out of New Haven, so it might be a while before he gets to DJ at ECX again. As a result, he looks forward to putting on a set that will inspire dances to remember and hope he can join in at least one of them with you!

Grace Peters

Grace Peters has been dancing and DJing with Yale Swing, Blues, and Fusion for 5 years. She loves music that gives lots of room to play and explore. Ask her to dance!

 

 

 

 

 

Kevin Chou

Kevin found swing and blues dancing in New Haven while a graduate student more than five years ago. He started DJing only a couple years ago, and it has brought him even closer to the dance that we all love. Kevin is excited to finally make his debut as a DJ at Elm City Exchange, so ask him to dance!

 

 

 

Khader

Hi, my name is Ahmed K Fadiga; Friends call me Khader. Originally from the Ivory Coast, precisely Abidjan, I have been living in the US since 2004. I am into sport, soccer, basketball, volleyball, and many more. But, music keeps me going. I have to have it (music of course). Dancing takes me away, it makes me feel like an eagle gliding through the clouds. I remember watching my dad dance salsa every Sunday morning, that was beautiful. I guess this is one reason I enjoy watching/seeing others dance to my music selection. Love love!!

 

 

Will

William has been a dancer for close to 7-8 years whose background includes, but not limited to:  Ballroom, Salsa, Bachata, Tango, and Merengue; who found his roots in the Yale Swing and Blues group.  As a DJ and former YSB Instructor, William incorporates music with elements that are rooted in Blues, but which are heavily influenced by his dance background and with popular music; straddling the line between old and new.

 

 

KNelly

In 2015 they met and had amazing dances at random and unplanned moments. They started nerding out about music on car rides to dance events in early 2017. From there it escalated to sharing themed playlists and cohosting house parties. And now, for the first time, the dynamic DJ duo that is Kelly Lynn Epstein and Nell McGloin-King appear as the synergized KNelly, to seduce your ears with unearthly and delicious tunes.