Deanna & The Downbeats
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Deanna & The Downbeats

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Deanna & The Downbeats is a quintet from Portland Oregon specializing in a unique brand of American music. Blending classic jazz style with vocal standards, show tunes, torch songs, and original compositions, the group's repertoire recalls the halcyon days of jazz and lounge singers such as Anita O'Day, Peggy Lee, Ella Fitzgerald, and Rosemary Clooney. Mixing equal parts sass and class, Deanna heats things up as the sexy chanteuse while The Downbeats stoke the fire with swinging rhythms and hot solos.

Deanna & The Downbeats was born in February 2007 after trumpeteer James M. Gregg approached best friend and vocalist Deanna Maio about starting a group together. James and Deanna and had spent many hours over the previous two years singing and playing through fakebooks full of standards, torch songs and ballads, and wondered what would happen if they took the music out of the practice room and on to the stage. The pair was already working together in musical groups The Swing Sisters and the Bureau of Standards Big Band, and sought a new avenue for their musical collaboration.

Finding a rhythm section the way most bands in Portland do - someone played with someone else who played with a guy who also had done a gig with the first cousin of the first guy - James called on the copious talents of pianissimist Ben Macy (Ben Macy Trio), ace of bass Steve Morelli (Bureau of Standards Big Band), and traps-ologist Fred Ingram (Kathy Walker Band). Performing their first show just a few months later at Tony Starlight's, the band received an enthusiastic response and calls for more. Now the band continues to play for appreciative audiences looking for something new and different yet still familiar and comfortable at the same time.

In the spirit of their idols, Deanna & The Downbeats pride themselves on an "anything goes" mentality, considering any style, decade, and song fair game for their genre-bending covers of such diverse writers as George Gershwin, Burt Bacharach, Cole Porter, Herb Alpert and even Madonna! No matter what style or song they are playing, Deanna & The Downbeats always infuse their music with energy, charisma and loads of fun!