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Uptown Drifters Quartet-Bass
Uptown Drifters Classic Swing

THE BAND

Jim Turner

Jim Turner

// vocals/guitar

 

Jim Turner, from Arlington, Texas, began learning music on the piano at 7 years of age.  After migrating to the guitar, he became a fan and student of country music.  Listening to Bill Mack, the "Midnight Cowboy” on WBAP 820 out of Fort Worth, he quickly fell in love with the music of Willie Nelson,  Merle Haggard and Bob Wills among others.  He began playing professionally in 1978.  In 1979, he had the fortunate opportunity of having  Al Strickland of the the Texas Playboys join him for a set.  This only intensified the urge to play Western Swing music.  In the 1980’s he performed with and managed the band Southbound.  Playing in the dance halls of central Texas, he mixed the sounds of dancehall shuffle and Western Swing, always catering to the wants and wishes of the dancers. 

During the mid 1990’s, he began studying contest-style fiddling and developed an appreciation and understanding of what separated the good fiddlers from the great ones.   It was also during this time that he picked up pointers from some of the great backup rhythm guitarists at the contests.  It quickly became apparent that the chord and rhythm patterns of these guitar players were very similar to the styles used by swing and jazz players.  Only a fine line separated Western Swing from its musical cousins.

After starting up the Uptown Drifters in 2012, he began mixing genres of swing and extending invitations to many of the great jazz and swing  musicians of North Texas.  While trying to promote and preserve Western Swing and Americana music, he also wanted to provide a platform for talented musicians to showcase their improvisational skills.

Hailey Darwin

Hailey Darwin

// fiddle/vocals

 Hailey Sandoz is a Texas-bred musician, following a less-trodden path among millennials. Her style is rooted in western swing, jazz, bluegrass, and Celtic. This remarkable young artist captures the attention of audiences young and old through her dynamic performance and representation of Western Swing, “the official music of Texas.” Hailey is known for her exceptional fiddling, jazzy vocals, and creative arranging skills. While Western swing is her most fun wheelhouse, Hailey is at home playing Celtic, Country, and anything in between. For the past thirteen years, Hailey has traveled all across the world performing at festivals and concert halls in the United States and abroad, including the Equiblues Festival in France. At age 18, Hailey was hired full-time with Grammy-Award Winner, Bobby Flores and the Yellow Rose Band. Since then, Hailey has appeared with Bobby Flores on two seasons of the RFDTV series, TruCountry. Hailey is a 4-time recipient of the International Western Music Association Instrumentalist of the Year (2023, 2021, 2019, & 2017). She has also been awarded the 2019 Cowtown Society of Western Music Rising Star of the Year, 2016 Academy of Western Artist Young Artist of the Year, 2015 International Western Music Association Crescendo Rising Star, as well as winning several fiddle competitions. In addition to these accolades, Hailey has had the privilege of performing with several legendary artists such as Leon Rausch and Tommy Allsup, and has opened for Michael Martin Murphy, Billy Dean, Crystal Gale and The Oak Ridge Boys.

Steve Curry

Steve Curry

// guitar/vocals

Steve Curry has toured and recorded with many diverse bands and artists such as Texas Gypsies, The Vinyl Stripes, The Jacksons, Boney James, Rapper D.O.C, 50’s icon Fabian and has played guitar for many Texas artists and bands. He lived in Los Angeles in the 90’s writing and performing music for many artists and song writers and touring some. He has won awards and was selected to the National Endowment for the Arts American Masterpieces touring program, the Touring Artist Program of the Texas Commission on the Arts, and the Mid-America Arts Alliance touring roster. He has toured all over the USA, Japan, and even Dubai! Steve also has worked as a producer and engineer in his studio and other local DFW area studios. He has worked on over 50 CD releases from artist’s like the late Muddy Waters to many regional rock, country and jazz bands. He also has composed music and has played guitar for television and film for Disney, Bravo, Cartoon Network, Fox TV, and on commercials for Mercedes, Ford, EA and more. Steve is endorsed by Gretsch Guitars and Category 5 amps.

Terry Shields

Terry Shield

// bass/vocals

Terry Shields has over 30 years of experience in the music industry.  He has participated in countless recording sessions and live performances across various musical genres.  Originally from Chicago, he started his professional music career on bass at the age of fourteen and further honed his skills at Illinois Wesleyan University, earning degrees in Music and Business.  Terry’s musical journey has been diverse.  Genres include rock, blues, country, dance, americana, western swing, rockabilly, bluegrass, metal, orchestral, and jazz. He has been influenced by a wide range of musicians, including Paul McCartney, Charles Mingus, John Paul Jones, Ron Carter, Geddy Lee, Stu Hamm, Lee Sklar, Marcus Miller, Rick Danko, Tony Levin, Jimmy Garrison, Timothy B. Schmidt, Sting, James Jamerson, Steve Harris, Roger Waters, Stanley Clarke, Guy Pratt, and Donald "Duck" Dunn.

Nathan Phelps

Nathan Phelps

// bass/piano

 

Nathan Phelps is a multi-instrumentalist, and composer from Denton, Texas. Being primarily self-taught throughout his early years, he went on to earn the degree of a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Jazz Bass Performance from the California Institute of the Arts where he studied with the legendary jazz bassist Charlie Haden.  Since graduating, he has since moved back to Texas where he performs on both Double Bass and Piano with a wide range artists of diverse genres.  Although he is primarily active as a freelance jazz bassist playing locally in the North Texas area, past tours includes a national tour as a bassist with rock-a-billy singer-songwriter Wayne the Train Hancock, and an international tour on keyboards and synthesizers with famed symphonic pop band The Polyphonic Spree.

Randy Eaton

Randy Eaton

// drums

Randy Eaton, from Arlington, Texas grew up in a musical family as his father played trumpet during the Big Band era, thus solidifying Randy’s jazz roots.  After performing in high school orchestra and ensembles, he earned a music degree from the University of Texas at Arlington.  Afterwards, he taught percussion for 31 years.  He also has performed in numerous bands covering jazz, rock, western swing and Latin music, as well as being principal timpanist with the Texas Wind Symphony.

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