Jonathan Stout swings into town

Swing man Jonathan Stout performs at 8 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 9 at Boulevard Music. (Photo by Christopher Bersbach)

Bandleader and musician Jonathan Stout currently performs with nine different bands, though some might be surprised to learn that the swing master has played with DJ Bonebrake of punk band X in the Bonebreak Syncopators. He’ll be solo next Saturday at Boulevard Music, and he chatted with the News about what Culver City can expect…

When did you start playing and performing? 

The Jonathan Stout Trio is my newest of nine different bands I currently lead. We started the first, Jonathan Stout and his Campus Five, feat. Hilary Alexander, back in 2002 as an authentic late ‘30s-early ‘40s swing band, specifically tailored for swing dancing. Since then, we’ve added eight other groups to the stable, including our big band, the Jonathan Stout Orchestra, feat. Hilary Alexander.

Describe your sound/style?

We play swing music from the late 1930s and early 1940s, and the trio was born as a way to feature my guitar playing outside of a dance band setting.

What are your career highlights so far?

Our main bands, the Campus Five and Jonathan Stout Orchestra have performed at Lincoln Center in New York City, and the Music Center in Downtown L.A., and have headlined the major swing dance events in the US, as well as events in London, Madrid, Seoul, Budapest, France, and Germany. As a guitar player, I’ve been featured on the Fretboard Journal Podcast, and taught at Red Hot Strings and Django in June music camps.

What recorded music is available — particularly the most recent?

The Campus Five’s six albums are gold standards for swing dance DJ’s and instructors around the world, and can be found anywhere you stream or buy digital music. Our most recent album, Let It Snow, was a holiday album released last November. I also have two releases of solo guitar.

Have you performed at Boulevard Music before?
We’ve not performed at Boulevard before, but both the Campus Five and Orchestra worked for Gary when he was booking the Culver City Summer Concert Series.

What can the audience expect from the set this time?

It was during the swing-era, in 1939, when electric guitar first came to public attention due to Charlie Christian, who played with Benny Goodman. Later styles of jazz would completely abandon the acoustic guitar, so I like to play both sides of swing guitar – acoustic and electric. 

What else do you have coming up?

Next weekend, several of our bands will be headlining one of the world’s biggest swing dance events, Camp Hollywood, which is here in Los Angeles at the LAX Marriott over Labor Day Weekend. The trio will also be at the Smoke House in Burbank on Thursday, September 14 from 5-7 p.m., and at the Harmony Room at St. Barnabus Church in Eagle Rock on Saturday, September 23 at 8 p.m. 

Jonathan Stout performs at 8 p.m. on Saturday, September 9 at Boulevard Music. Go to for more information.

Elsewhere this week

The Culver Hotel will be hosting the likes of Sylvia & the Rhythm Boys, and Scotty Bramer. Go to for more info.

There’s a full program of music at the Cinema Bar this week, as usual. The Hot Club of Los Angeles plays every Monday, and Wednesdays are singer/songwriter and open mic night. Other artists performing this week include Blackwing, Mick Rhodes & the Hard Eight, Hair by Leonard, Bruce Ray White, and the Clams. Go to for more info.