Swing Shift began in the late 80’s by three guys who were dissatisfied with the music they were playing in their present band. One guy played an accordion, a second played trumpet and trombone and the third played a tenor sax and clarinet. After one rehearsal, consensus was to add a drummer and a rhythm guitar. The group was elated with the repertoire at hand since the first three guys knew many polkas, waltzes and swing tunes.
As our library increased we were invited to begin playing Saturday nights around Albuquerque for real money. Very soon our reputation spread as a New Mexico swing band that could play nearly anything for many functions and organized groups. One of the best attributes of Swing Shift is that once we hear a tune, we can play it. Our venues included dances, parties, wakes, weddings and bar mitzvahs or anything you would desire. One of our specialties is music that is played at “Oktoberfests” complete with authentic costumes. One of our longest standing bookings has been the Ruidoso Oktoberfest where 2015 will mark our 38th anniversary. We have also done Oktoberfests in El Paso, Las Cruces, Alamagordo and even Telluride, CO. We were one of the first groups invited to perform for the first Rio Rancho Oktoberfest and Red River Oktoberfest in the mid 1980’s.
Two of the original band members, Jack Cutshall (tenor sax) and Bruce Miller (trumpet, trombone) are still the core of the group. Drummer, Sherry Rice has been with the band for 15 years, Pianist and vocalist Bob Banks joined the band 12 years ago and bass guitarist and vocalist Al Simballa joined 5 years ago.
The band’s versatility includes Swing, Big band, Rock and Roll, Blues, Country, and Latin..