The Swinging Belles are a JUNO award-winning children’s swing band from St. John’s, NL featuring child educators and performers Laura Winter and Erin Power joined by guitarist extraordinaire Duane Andrews.
Their show is all about getting kids and parents out to have a dance and enjoy some swing country and jazz… kid style. As primary school teachers, both Laura and Erin know first hand the joy that kids feel when they can boogie to some good time music, and as parents, Duane and Erin know the importance of enjoying the music that our kids are listening to! The show is packed with music, interactive storytelling and dancing… lots of dancing!
With funding support from MusicNL and the NL Arts Council, The Swinging Belles released their debut album More Sheep, Less Sleep in December 2014. The group recently won a JUNO (2016) and a Canadian Folk Music Award (2015) for Children’s Album of the Year. More Sheep, Less Sleep also received two MusicNL nominations for Group of the Year and Jazz/Blues Album of the Year. Bob Hallett of Great Big Sea has officially signed on as management, adding The Swinging Belles to Kilbride Music’s roster alongside The Dardanelles. The band has just recently returned from playing Calgary’s KidsFest and will soon be performing at The Winnipeg Folk Festival.
Both Erin and Laura have completed Masters degrees in Education and Folklore respectively. Their love of folk, swing jazz, and country music has seeped into their pedagogy. Both educators regularly teach using songs and stories supported by guitars, mandolins, banjos and ukuleles. By night, the two are part of folk/country group The Dilettantes who have recorded 3 albums as part of the RPM challenge and perform in the local music circuit (The Topsham Cottage Diaries, Otters and Elders, and Roots and Boots). Guitar guru Duane Andrews is an established international performer having performed on stages such as the Newport Folk and Montreal Jazz festivals. He is also an accomplished composer and producer. As a multi-award winning artist, Duane is thrilled to bring his passion for Swing Jazz and NL traditional music to an enthusiastic young audience.