Jackie Floyd, lead singer of the local jazz band Swing Shift, has always been immersed in music. As a student at Tokay High School, Floyd participated in choir and theater. Here, Floyd talks about performing with band members Jim Floyd, Pat Teczon and Don Denton.
Q: How did the band Swing Shift form?
A: We were in a band called Night Shift, which had a country, rhythm and blues sound. Swing Shift, which has an easy listening, jazz type of sound, formed as an alternative form of the band. There were seven members in Night Shift and four of us continued on to play in Swing Shift.
Q: What kind of music does Swing Shift perform?
A: We play a wide variety of music, but all of the music has a jazz sound to it. It can be from the 120’s, Christina Aguilera, the Beatles, or from Sergio Mendes. It’s a little bit all over the board.
Q: Where does Swing Shift usually play?
A: We generally play once or twice a month at winery places like the cellardoor or Heritage Oak Winery. A couple of weeks ago we played at the Cherry Festival in Linden.
Q: Who are the other members of the band?
A: Jim Floyd plays the keyboard and I am the singer. Both of us are from Lodi. Pat Teczon plays bass, and our regular drummer is Don Denton, who is from Linden.
Q: What do you do as a job when you are not playing?
A: I am a graphic artist and own Cook’s Printing in Lodi. I just bought it last October. Jim is a self employed truck driver.
Q: How did you get into music?
A: I have been playing piano since I was five. In seventh and eighth grade, I was in a chorus group and moved up into choir during high school.
Jim has been playing since around the same age. He has been in band since he was 13 and has always played the keyboard.
Q: What are you favorite songs to play?
A: I love to do “Summertime.” One of the more recent versions is an up-and-coming jazz youngster named Renee Olmstead who does a fantastic version. I also like “Blue Moon” and songs by Dionne Warwick. A crowd pleaser is “Simple Love” by Allison Krauss. I also really like “I Told Ya I Love Ya Now Get Out.” I’ve wanted to sing it since I heard Cybill Shepherd sing it on “Moonlighting.” Sometimes, bass player Pat Teczon sings to gives me a break.
Q: What is a good audience?
A: A good audience comes to sit and listen. We don’t want to be just music in the background. We have dedicated followers and like it when people come in to listen to us.
Q: Is there any tradition or ritual that you do before a performance for luck?
A: No, we are just lucky that we show up on time, since we have regular jobs. For the last performance at cellardoor, we had to practice and learn a lot of chord changes and major and minor chords.
Q: If you could go to dinner with any singer/actor, who would it be and why?
A: Either Bonnie Raitt or Susan Tedeschi, because they are a couple of my favorite musical artists.