A new, informed, traditional-jazz/blues/ragtime duo is not taking New York’s shutdown sitting down, but they are taking it in their “stride.” Against all odds, they’re ambitiously establishing themselves as serious, specialty-purveyors of Ragtime, Stride, and Early Tin Pan Alley music—that is: performers of pre-swing era vernacular songs, and they are on a trajectory to making art and an artistic career in spite of the pandemic. All of which is evidence of their verve, musicality, authenticity, charm and the unique niche they fill.
Prior to 2018, vocalist/multi-instrumentalist Lauren Sansaricq and pianist Charlie Judkins were unknown to each other. Coincidentally, and independently they were both professional visual artists: Lauren, as a fine-art landscape painter (in the mode of late 19th century painters like Fredrick Church, Albert Bierstadt, and others of the Hudson River School of painting). Charlie was an independent illustrator-animator (very much in the 1930s Max Fleischer cartoon mode). Both, however, had already been actively schooling in music since kindergarten; and although Charlie, by his late teens, was doing occasional paid gigs, music wasn’t necessarily a part of their intended careers.
Yet they were brought together as part of a nascent, informal jazz band (Delta Bound), led by bassist Chisoo Kim for a gig, during which they discovered, in the course of that gig, that they shared a mutual, lifelong passion for pre-1920s popular music