Saturday, July 23, 2016

Saturday Jazz Performance - "The Sheik of Araby" - Cottas Club Jazz Band

Take some good old fashioned Dixieland jazz musicians from Portugal, mix in some Monte Python, toss in a good measure of Benny Hill, then plop them down in the middle of the United Arab Emirates and what do you get? You get this crazy music video from 2011 by the Cottas Club Jazz Band playing The Sheik of Araby!

The Cottas Club Jazz Band is made up of six members from West Portugal. They played their first gig in May 2003 and have since been playing their brand of music invoking many of the traditional styles of music that was being played in New Orleans in the '20s and '30s. Everything from Dixieland to the Blues are performed by them.

The band was especially inspired by the Louis Armstrong All Stars of the 1950s. They are not slaves to the genre and the music however and freely interpret and adapt the tunes to fit their brand of  style and irreverence. Their costumes are as much a part of their performances as is the music!

Ted Snyder (1881-1965) composed the music for The Sheik of Araby with the words written by Harry B. Smith (1860-1936) and Francis Wheeler. The tune was composed as a parody of the Rudolph Valentino film The Sheik which was a silent movie blockbuster. The humor of the song and it's popularity soon made it a jazz standard that has continued to be played by bands to this very day.