The Beat Hotel is a 10-piece band with a 3-piece horn section playing New Orleans Swamp Funk music. The band captures the Crescent City’s unique musical hybrid of R&B, funk, soul and blues with a wonderful groove sensibility that is both creative and fresh. With the roots of its music deep in the Bayou (The Neville Brothers, Dr. John, The Meters, Alan Toussaint, Lee Dorsey, Jon Cleary, Henry Butler, etc…), The Beat Hotel has well-crafted melodies, a kicking horn section, rich vocal harmonies and deep grooves that consistently energize Music Festivals and Club’s wherever they play.
The band was formed after Bruce Blaylock (the musical director and lead guitarist) returned to his hometown of Bethesda, Maryland after having moved to New Orleans for college and law school at Tulane University. While attending Tulane, Bruce got deep into the New Orleans music scene and ended up playing with some of the great musicians and bands in the city.
So when Bruce later returned to his hometown of Bethesda, armed with the knowledge of how to play this swampy New Orleans funk style of music, he pulled some of Washington’s finest musicians together to form The Beat Hotel. For example, the band’s lead singer, Lauren Cattaneo is one of the city’s premier lead vocalists with a fierce touch that can bring out the juice in the funk. Bass player Jan Zukowski is a local legend having spent decades anchoring the Nighthawks. Drummer Francis Thompson teaches percussion at the Duke Ellington School of Arts. Justine Miller from the multi-award winning band Chopteeth is on trumpet. Vocalist Caz Gardiner is one of the working-most singers in the DC area and a frequent contributor to Ronnie Newmyer’s Band House Gigs. And keyboardist Jim Levy is a nationally accomplished jazz pianist, professor and composer. Other veteran musicians in the band include sax player James Bazen, Doug Elliott on Trombone, and Howard Buie on guitar and vocals.
The Beat Hotel has now been working in the DC area for many years, has played the top clubs in the city, including The Hamilton, Gypsy Sally’s, and Bethesda Blues & Jazz, and has built a loyal following playing the wonderful music of New Orleans. Come on out and enjoy some real New Orleans swamp funk music!