The members of Tea Cup Gin share a passion for crafting original musical cocktails under the influence of an eclectic blend of early 20th century genres (deco era jazz standards, tin pan alley classics, ragtime & delta blues, torch, chanson, cabaret, bossa, tango, & show tunes). The band takes an authentic yet unconventional approach to the great American jazz tradition, stirring together original melodies and lyrics, served up via two blazing acoustic guitars, impassioned vocals, dynamic upright bass & percussion, with occasional guests on trombone, trumpet, violin, sax, & more.
Why the name “Tea Cup Gin”? During prohibition, speakeasies served bootleg gin in ordinary tea cups to hide what was inside. Although the band’s original songs may look innocent enough from the outside, you’ll soon taste a deliciously intoxicating blend of unexpected ingredients. So “Tea Cup Gin” evokes vintage jazz, while being catchier than saying “you can’t judge a book by its cover.”
John Klonowski: After growing up in Chicago immersed in the blues, JohnK listened to a recording of the Rev Gary Davis’ “Ragtime Guitar”, and set off on an odyssey to learn how to play ragtime and jazz fingerstyle guitar. His solo performances often include intricate ragtime and jazz instrumentals from composers such as Scott Joplin, Louis Chauvin, Fats Waller, and Jelly Roll Morton.