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Local Jazz Groups Are Popular With Music Lovers

Idaho Falls — If you’ve been to Idaho Falls recently, you’ve heard of The Dewdroppers.

The group has become popular on the local music scene and are constantly gaining new fans. Rumors spread and the band now gigs in surrounding states such as Utah and Montana.

Singer Katie Engstrom and guitarist Freddie Gildersleeve said the band has grown from a hobby to a side gig and has kept them pretty busy.

It all started years ago thanks to a meeting through the Eastern Idaho Jazz Society.

“I moved to Idaho Falls about five years ago,” Engstrom told “I came here and thought, ‘As a jazz lover, I want to support[local jazz musicians].’ I found out that (EIJS) had an open mic jazz jam. I said, ‘I I’m going to take the courage to do it, I haven’t sung for a while, but I stood there and sang.

“I was in the house band,” added Gildersleeve. “I heard her sing and I was like, ‘Huh!? Holy passori! I couldn’t track her down that day because she was crouching singing her own song. It’ll be quite a while before I see her again.’ It’s been almost a year and now I need to get your phone number.

The musical chemistry between Engstrom and Gildersleeve developed easily, and the group’s sound quickly came together.

“I think we probably had one rehearsal before we actually booked the gig,” said Engstrom. “If you’re a jazz musician, you probably already know a lot of these songs from ‘The Great American Songbook.’ , just started playing.”

Courtesy IV Media

It snowballed from there. The band landed regular gigs at Black Rock in Idaho Falls on Sundays. That led to gigs at other local venues and music festivals, as well as elsewhere in the area. they got married.

Depending on the gig, you may see different line-ups.

“You can see us in different formations,” Engstrom said. “We started off as a duo act, just guitars and voices. Then we brought in Alex Holloway, who was the main bass player for the last three years. Then ask the others. Three people. A horn player will also join in. In a smaller venue, it might go back to being a duo.

One of the reasons the band enjoys so many playing opportunities is because there is a community of local music lovers that keeps the craving for jazz going unmet.

“I think the biggest feature of Idaho Falls is the INL,” says Gildersleeve. “There are PhDs from all over the world, they come here, they want the culture. Our best friend is from New York City. At the Falls? Yes! I love it!'”

The band is also perfect for providing a background soundtrack as it is not a highly amplified percussion driven group. It helps create the atmosphere of a bar or restaurant. You can have a conversation without making too much noise.

Another reason The Dewdroppers are so popular is their jazzy twists on multiple genres of music, including artists like Prince and Amy Winehouse.

“Even if you’re not into jazz, we do a lot of things people know or have heard of somewhere,” said Engstrom. “This isn’t something you typically hear, so I think it will work even if you’re not a huge jazz lover.”

The band’s success has Gildersleeve and Engstrom thinking about long-term plans.

“It’s happening,” said Gildersleeve. “It’s going great. My goal is to get (Engstrom) to quit his day job and work full time. Get in the van and go.”

Check out The Dewdroppers’ mellow sound on Spotify. You can also stay up to date on gig dates by visiting the band’s website or Facebook page and following them on Instagram.

dropper standing
Courtesy IV Media