Movie release – “Knights of Swing” recreates big band jazz in post-war California

Movie release – “Knights of Swing” recreates big band jazz in post-war California


Knights of Swing – “Cucamonga” Official Music Video

On March 25, the Knights of Swing LLC and E3 Music Productions released a feature length film “Knights of Swing” powered by an incredible array of musical talent and a crew of dreamers and believers.

The film “Knights of Swing” is set in Lynwood, California in 1947 and it’s a coming of age story with a lot of big band music including an epic California Battle of the Bands taking place as part of the storyline.

The screenplay for “Knights of Swing” was co-written by musician and actor, Emilio Palame and Executive Producer, Rolland Jacks. Palame also appeared in the film playing the school principal. He also directed the film and arranged all the music.

The 3B’s in “Knights of Swing” are:

Beverly – Lead Vocalist (played by Emily Goglia)
Bonnie – Alto Vocalist (played by Ivana Céspedes Jordan)
Barb – Soprano Vocalist (played by Olivia Dessy)

The musicians featured include the following talented line-up:

Antonia Barton (“Anna”) – 3rd & 1st Trumpet
Nicholas Delgado (“Bill”) – 2nd Trumpet
Tatiana Tate (“Brenda Davis”) – New 3rd Trumpet
Jordan Wainwright (“Sandy”) – 2nd Trombone
Jonathan Bryant Sie (“Skelton”) – 3rd Trombone
Gail Genuino (“Bobbie”) – Alto Sax/Flute
Edgar Guadiana (“Eduardo”) – Alto Sax/Flute
Nathan Collins (“Macy”) – Tenor Sax
Joshua Escutia (“Luis Contreras”) – Tenor Sax
Brian Tran (“Shinji”) – Baritone Sax
Kristian de Leon (“Eugene”) – Vibes & Percussion
Edison Vilar (“Roger”) – Vibes & Percussion

The storyline follows the challenges, disappointments and successes of six high school boys and the girls who join them to create a really swinging big band at their school “Castle High”. The story is an uplifting portrait which shows how music can unite people from different cultures, races and social groups. It’s also a story about how young people seek refuge and peace from the challenges of the adult world in post-WWII America.

Executive Producer based the storyline of “Knights of Swing” on his own personal experiences as a young man coming of age in post-war Southern California. He wanted to recapture some of the values from that era along with the beauty and musicality of big band jazz which was so popular in American culture at that time.

Knights of Swing live on stage

The musical tracks included in the film are:

1. Schoolroom Blues
2. You’ve Gotta Have A Dream
3. Love Is Ours Tonight
4. Cucamonga
5. Guessin’ Game
6. Ooh Baby You’re Driving Me Crazy
7. The Dingle Finger
8. Butterfly
9. Bev and Giff’s Diner Date
10. Song for Now
11. I’m Falling In Love With You
12. Things Are Swingin’*
13. Scrambled Eggs (Instrumental)
14. Baby Don’t Cry Now
15. Wilson High Victory Stomp
16. Battle of the Bands Medley
17. No Bright Tomorrows
18. The Victory Stomp (Instrumental)

“Knights of Swing” was created and produced by Rolland Jacks. It was produced and directed by Emilio Palame with co-director David Gutel and producer Donald Nguyen.

Executive Producer, Rolland Jacks, engaged Emilio Palame, a highly-regarded pianist/vocalist, producer and film & TV composer/arranger for 45 years. Palame’s resume includes over 50 film & TV credits including Nickelodeon’s “Ned’s Declassified School Survival Guide,” Expelled and Prodigy. The talented co-director, David Gutel, helped write the screenplay with Jacks and Palame and the producer Donald Nguyen, (Reel Big Studios (RB Studios) in Orange County came on board to help them complete the project.

Emilio Palame created the full big band “Knights of Swing” from the main characters in the film. The core group includes best friends Gifford Williams (songwriter/vocalist/saxophonist played by Curran Barker) and Nolan Edwards (piano player brought to life by Kyle DeCamp) along with Conrad White (lead trombonist/vocalist played by Jeremy Staple) and their long time friends Elliott (lead trumpeter played by Christopher Pollock), Kenny (bassist played by Brandon Ruiter) and Duke (drummer played by Greg Sadler). Palame plays “Lou Arthur” (or “King Arthur”), the former jazz pianist turned school principal, who plays a key role in the story.

The film needed strong female vocal leads, so they added the 3Bs which features Beverly on lead vocals (played by Emily Goglia), Bonnie, the alto (played by Ivana Céspedes Jordan), and Barb, the soprano (played by Olivia Dessy). The final result was a powerhouse musical performance. Co-director, Emilio Palame says the production team felt that the film succeeds in confronting “racism, loss, the consequence of war, yet also shows forgiveness, unconditional love and the power of music to bring people together.” Palame tells us that working on this project is a “gift that has touched my heart and I know will reach yours.”

This completed project is also a homage to the successful working partnership of co-creators Emilio Palame and Rolland Jacks who have been working together for over twenty years across musical genres ranging from pop, gospel to musical theater as well as jazz and swing.

“Knights of Swing” is available now in 1080p and 4K resolution for only $4.99 for a 48-hour streaming rental via Vimeo.

Knights of Swing Official Trailer.

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Emily Goglia

Ivana Céspedes Jordan

Olivia Dessy

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YouTube – Knights of Swing Official Channel