Management & Booking

 

Email: booking@uptowndrifters.com     Phone: 817.845.5246

©Uptown Drifters 2016-17                                            Photography and Design by Melissa Arnold

Jim Turner

// vocals, guitar

 

Jim Turner 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.  While learning the songs of his musical heroes, he developed a style of rhythm guitar reminiscent of these influences. 

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, using his skills on guitar and fiddle.   Playing in the dance halls of central Texas, he mixed the sounds of Texas shuffle music 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.  Providing a platform for talented musicians to showcase their improvisational skills, this band performs in dance halls, clubs, restaurants, corporate and private events.

Nathan Phelps

// bass

 

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.

Brooke Wallace Deaton

// fiddle

 By the time she turned 9 years old, Brook Wallace Deaton had accrued the Junior (18 and under) titles of State, National, and World Champion. As time passed, Brook traded the fiddle competitions for a jazzier route, adopting legends like Stephane Grappelli and Svend Asmussen as her inspirations. In addition to being the lead fiddlist for the Uptown Drifters, she also plays as a contract fiddle player for studio sessions and teaches private music lessons in Burleson. Mandolin, cello, and vocals are additional aspects of her repertoire.   Brook has performed with The Texas Gypsies, Leon Rausch, Penny Gilley, Cowtown Opry, and numerous local singer songwriters.

Jon Stutler

// saxophone, guitar, keyboard

 

Jon Stutler has performed professionally since age 16.  When his father and his high school band director introduced him to New Orleans Dixieland Jazz and Western Swing, he was hooked.  Jon is a member of The Texas Western Swing Hall of Fame. 

He worked his way through the University of Texas at Arlington for a Bachelors in Music Ed. and the University of North Texas for his Masters in Public School Administration, by playing shows and clubs with Western Swing, Country, and Dixieland, and Swing Jazz bands across Texas and the rest of the country.  He has worked with Jerry Lewis, Ray Price, Bob Hope, Daniel Rodriguez, The Dixie Chicks, and too many other local stars to name. 

Jon has taught instrumental music in public school, charter school, privately, and has been featured in music performance workshops, including the Big Texas Swing School.  His Dixieland Jazz band, RazzmaJazz, was formed at Six Flags Over Texas in 1985, where Jon performed in various groups for 26 years.  Jon has performed for one governor and two presidents.  

“Music is my life.  I’m just having fun!”

 

Born in Abilene, TX and lives in Arlington, TX

Married to Jana Stutler

Three sons Scott, Ryan, and Charlie

THE BAND

Josh Hanlon

// pianist

Why would a jazz pianist from Canada end up in the great state of Texas?   A world class education from the University of North Texas?  A seat in the renowned One O’ Clock lab band… well, maybe for starters.   After finishing his graduate studies at UNT, Josh stayed to teach jazz piano as an Adjunct Faculty member.   This would lead to several other teaching opportunities in Texas, including work at Brookhaven College, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, and Tarleton State University.   He also returned to Canada to teach at his Alma mater, St. Francis Xavier University.

 

Aside from being an in-demand freelance jazz pianist working with the best players and leaders in Texas, Josh is not content to stick to one genre.   He has accompanied a number of top flight acts, including America’s Got Talent finalists The Texas Tenors, the Voice’s Holly Tucker, Tony Award winning Broadway legend Betty Buckley, and perhaps most notably, a long stint as country legend Ray Price’s pianist and conductor.

 

Along the way, he has appeared on Fox News (w. Willie Nelson), played with the great Shirley Jones, Jimmy Cobb, the Gatlin Brothers, Doc Severinsen, with renowned American symphonies, and in many esteemed venues, including the sacred heart of country music, the Grand Ole’ Opry.

 

Currently, Josh plays extensively with Stockton Helbing’s groups and educational initiative, vocalist Holly Tucker, and this fine group.  He is producing his wife Michelle’s second album, and his playing and compositions can be heard on his own album “The Baytree Sessions, Vol. 1”

 

Hailey Sandoz

// fiddle

 Texas-bred musician, following a less-trodden path among millennials. Her music is rooted in western swing, cowboy, bluegrass, jazz, and celtic influences. This remarkable young performer captures the attention of audiences young and old through her dynamic performance and representation of “the official music of Texas.” Known for her exciting fiddling, charming personality, jazzy vocals, creative composing and arranging skills - there’s not much this 18 year old can’t do. Western swing is her most fun wheelhouse, but her multi-genre versatility is also being recognized in Country, Bluegrass & Jazz. Making her way around the world, Hailey has performed internationally at the Equiblues Festival in France and travels full-time with Grammy-Award Winner Bobby Flores and his Yellow Rose Band; as well as appearing as a solo artist with various artists. Hailey has been awarded for her achievements by earning the titles: 2017 Western Music Association Instrumentalist of the Year, 2016 Academy of Western Artist Young Artist of the Year, 2015 Western Music Association Crescendo Rising Star, 2015 WMA Youth Harmony winner, and numerous Celtic fiddling awards.