In October 2012, vocalist Chelsea Reed brought five of her friends together to play some tunes in a South Philly dining room. Her plan was to form a band that played for swing dancers, so she could finally have the chance to sing her favorite songs for an audience that loved the music of Bessie Smith and Billie Holiday as much as she did. Since that fateful day, she’s been living that dream and couldn’t be happier about it.
Now, Chelsea Reed and the Fair Weather Five are at home at swing dances, jazz clubs and concert halls alike. They have played renowned Philadelphia venues and travel the country year round to perform at music festivals and Lindy and Blues exchanges and workshops. They have had the honor of sharing the stage with trumpeter Terell Stafford and trombonist Wycliffe Gordon, who is featured on their 2017 release Spreadin’ Rhythm Around. Their 2020 release, Carolina Lullaby showcases original songs steeped in jazz, blues, and folk traditions where Reed’s vocals and swing musicality shine.
When not composing, the band loves exploring the roots of jazz and finding creative ways to interpret forgotten songs. Chelsea Reed and the Fair Weather Five draw upon the intensity of powerhouse vocalists, the ingenuity of 20th century composers, and the soul of the dance floor. They are silly, passionate people who love playing this music. And that’s all there is to it.