Desert Swing Mayor's Arts Award

Book the Desert Swing Orchestra for your next event! Call Joe Anton at (520) 458-0538 or e-mail Joe at

Desert Swing slide show Welcome to Add a touch of class to your next event - whether it be a birthday, wedding, anniversary, or an office party - with the smooth jazz sounds of Desert Swing. With musicians from all over southeastern Arizona, Desert Swing has entertained thousands in Cochise County and the surrounding area with performances in Sierra Vista, Bisbee, Tombstone, Tucson, Marana, Sonoita, Patagonia, Douglas, Sunsites, and even as far east as Rodeo, New Mexico.

Started in 1985 by Joe Anton (drummer and band manager), Desert Swing is proud to help keep the Swing movement alive and kicking. Audiences varying in age from 2 to 92 (to borrow a little phrase from Mel Torme) have enjoyed the Big Band sound of Desert Swing, and the Desert Swing musicians enjoy sharing the fantastic sounds of the Swing era with them.

27 September, 2010 - Looking forward to playing in the city park tomorrow for the Give Us Liberty Tea Party. The Cochise County Tea Party was kind enough to ask us to play, and we were happy to oblige. Hopefully they have enough tea to go around.

12 February, 2010 - We had a great time at the Valentine Dinner and Dance celebration out at the Knights of Columbus Hall. There was great food and lots of dancing. A special thanks to Dave Resto from The Thunder Mountain Band - he did a fantastic job for us on drums. Dave also joined us at rehearsal where I recorded him playing Only You and That Old Black Magic. You can hear him in the clips I posted of our singer, Vicki Sutera, on the download page.

8 February, 2010 - I've been playing with a little Belkin recorder I bought for my iPod Nano and actually got some great recordings at rehearsal today. Russ and I are talking about devoting part of a rehearsal to doing some multi-track recording (which we'll probably do soon), but for now check out some new clips of Vicki on the download page.

Desert Swing at the Sierra Vista Library 22 April, 2009 - Today we performed at our home town Public Library for their 50th anniversary celebration. It was a great gig with a good turn-out. And they served cookies (my favorite part). I loved the oatmeal raisin. Yum. Anyway, our director, Russ Robinson (pictured below on the right), was rendered slightly dumbstruck when our singer, Vicki Sutera, was talking about one of the tunes we recently added to our repertoire, "Mr. Zoot Suit". She was mentioning the World War II Zoot Suit Riots and talking about how the amount of material required for a zoot suit was considered wasteful when she said, "wearing a zoot suit was a sign of a rebel." She quickly added, "You should get one, Russ." Nice one, Vicki.

Russ Robinson on saxophone at the Sierra Vista Library 7 March, 2009 - The residents and guests at the Cochise Terrace RV Resort got quite a surprise today. The community manager wanted to do something special and, instead of just getting a small group of talented musicians together for a jam session, decided to hire a big band to swing the afternoon away. The audience started to gather while we were setting up and were wondering out loud if all the people in dress shirts and bow ties were going to serve them lunch or something! Turned out those people were us, the Desert Swing Big Band!

28 January, 2007 - A huge thank you to the Sierra Vista Arts and Humanities Commission for awarding us the Organization of the Year for 2006. We feel honored to be recognized, especially by such a prestigious group. Band manager Joe Anton accepted the award today from former mayor Thomas Hessler. Thanks also to our new mayor Bob Strain, and to Lloyd DuVall for his kind introduction. New gigs have been added to our schedule and we'd love everybody to come see us! The Turqoise Valley Golf & RV Park in Naco serves up a great dinner and the price is very reasonable. Be sure to check out our new Photos section!

10 September, 2006 - We'd like to thank the University of Arizona South and the Huachuca Astronomy Club for inviting us to play for their "Dine Under the Stars" charity fundraiser. It was a great night for stargazing and enjoying the delectable food provided by local vendors. We even have some wonderful photos.

4 September, 2006 - Four new charity events have been added to our schedule! See our schedule page for all the details and be sure to check out the photos from our Huachuca City gig.

1 April, 2006 - After being postponed due to bad weather, we were finally able to play for Huachuca City. The high winds made things challenging, but we had a great time. Check out the wind-swept hair in these photos.

24 December, 2005 - Merry Christmas! A couple of pictures have been added to the slide show at the top of this page from the Sierra Vista Symphony Orchestra fundraiser dinner in November. It was a great show, we had a wonderful time, and dedicated singer Deborah Dover performed even though she had just had surgery! We're all happy to have her around. Next week we'll be doing a New Year's Eve show for the Far Horizon Tucson Village complete with Christmas Carols (since New Year's Eve is the sixth day of Christmas).

15 May, 2005 - Thanks to the city of Douglas for allowing us the privilege of providing entertainment for their 100th birthday party. The Douglas fans are always so very appreciative, and we enjoy bringing our music to those who truly enjoy the Jazz and Swing experience. The turn-out was good, the kids had a great time, and the trees provided plenty of shade on this beautiful Douglas day. We always enjoy playing in Douglas because your own trumpeter / flügelhornist / cowboy / photographer Jay Dusard always joins in the fun. Thanks once again, Jay, for honoring us with your warm, signature sound and tasteful solos.

9 December, 2004 - Shout-outs to all of our new friends at Tombstone High School. You all ROCK, er... uh, SWING! Although the original, outdoor venue was quite drenched by an uncooperative Mother Nature, a great time was still had by all after we regrouped in an alternate location. The audience was great, the dancing was wonderful, and Desert Swing had a fantastic time playing for the students and teachers. We hope your fund-raiser was a success, and we hope to play for you again soon.

Thanks again to the Sierra Vista Symphony Orchestra for allowing us to entertain them at their annual fund-raiser and dinner. Many thanks for the compliments - they mean a great deal to us coming from such fine and outstanding musicians such as yourselves. And may we compliment you on your fine dancing! It's always a pleasure to present a show to such an appreciative audience.

15 October, 2004 - Desert Swing would like to thank the Southeastern Arizona Association of Realtors for allowing us to perform for thier "Roaring 20's" bash at the Windemere Hotel in Sierra Vista, Arizona. Good food, good fun, and fantastic costumes made for a night to remember.

9 September 2004 - A Sierra Vista Herald newspaper article entitled "Quality of life is city's goal" features a photograph of Desert Swing pianist Dave Davidson playing during a gig sponsored by the Sierra Vista Parks and Leisure Services. The photo was taken during one of the Thursday night performances Sierra Vista hosts over the summer. Bands donate their time for these shows, and the audiences are always very appreciative. Desert Swing performed twice last summer with an audience turn-out of around 200 people attending each show.

* Photos by Valerie Davidson of Lily & Daisy Photography
All photos copyright © 2006-2009 Lily & Daisy Photography (except as indicated). All rights reserved, used with permission.