By Chris Cooke

Omaha Performing Arts presents Big Bad Voodoo Daddy at the Holland Performing Arts Center on Oct. 10, 2013, at 7:30 p.m. The rambunctious, horn-filled performance is part of Omaha Performing Arts’ Showcase Series for the 13/14 Season. Twenty years ago, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy hit the music scene, showing L.A. and the world that it was still hip to swing, big band style. The band gained national attention when “You & Me and the Bottle Makes Three (Tonight)” and “Go Daddy-O” were featured in the 1996 film Swingers.
Today, the high-energy nine-piece ensemble continues the party and takes things to the next level with the release of “Rattle Them Bones.” The album places No.2 on Billboard’s Jazz Album chart. It follows the lauded 2009 release, “How Big Can You Get?: The Music of Cab Calloway.” Band leader Scotty Morris said working on the Calloway project was “The greatest musical education possible, and one that again solidified the brotherhood of the band.”
“It’s amazing how the chemistry in this band still works after so many years,” said Morris. “Whether on stage or traveling down the road on the bus, everyone is hanging out together, laughing and enjoying being part of such a remarkable enterprise and enduring friendship – one that is so rare in this business.”
Morris co-founded the band with drummer Kurt Sodergren, making their debut in their hometown of Ventura, Calif., in April 1993. They helped to usher in the swing revival founded on a colorful fusion of classic American sounds including jazz, swing and Dixieland mixed with the energy and spirit of contemporary culture. The group, whose core lineup has been in place since 1995, includes Morris (lead vocals and guitar), Sodergren (drums and percussion), Dirk Shumaker (double bass and vocals), Andy Rowley (baritone saxophone and vocals), Glen “The Kid” Marhevka (trumpet), Karl Hunter (saxophones and clarinet) and Joshua Levy (piano and arranger). Joining them on the road are Anthony Bonsera Jr. (lead trumpet) and Alex Henderson (trombone).
Although music by other composers has been featured on each of the band’s albums, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy has always focused on original music, producing a diverse songbook, while embracing the past and today’s times with current perspective and new stories to tell.
Big Bad Voodoo Daddy’s discography that includes the platinum-selling “Americana Deluxe” and follow-ups “This Beautiful Life,” “Save My Soul” and “Everything You Want For Christmas.” Their music has appeared in films and television shows including Despicable Me, Family Guy and Phineas and Ferb. The band’s songs have also been featured in Olympic gymnastic and figure skating routines (including Carly Patterson’s 2004 gold medal win) and have been widely used for years as part of television broadcasts of sporting events including the NFL, NBA, MLB and PGA.
The band’s numerous television appearances include Dancing With The Stars, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Late Night with Conan OʼBrien and Last Call with Carson Daly.
Big Bad Voodoo Daddy often plays more than 150 shows a year and has appeared as special guests with symphony orchestras including the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, National Symphony Orchestra, U.S. Air Force Band and the Omaha Symphony.
“We’ve never tried to put on airs or make people think we’re something we’re not,” said Morris. “There’s an integrity that comes from writing and playing songs the way folks did in the old days, when they did it to capture the audience’s imagination; not simply to click with a specific demographic. Our fans always know they’re getting the real thing from us and true emotion that comes from the heart. We have no interest in being pop stars, but we have an absolute love of American music and a strong desire to share that with people.”
As Big Bad Voodoo Daddy approaches their 20-year anniversary, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy has made it known they’re just getting started. “We’re far from finished making music,” said Morris. “We have big plans for the next 20 years.”
Listen to “Why Me” off Big Bad Voodoo Daddy’s newest album, “Rattle Them Bones,” at Its chorus will be on loop in your head for the rest of the day. Big Bad Voodoo Daddy will perform October 10 in the Kiewit Hall of the Holland Center. Single tickets start at $25 and can be purchased online at, by phone at 402.345.0606, or at the Ticket Omaha office in the Holland Performing Arts Center, 13th and Douglas streets.

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