From 20th Century Ramblers
20th Century Ramblers play a variety of traditional jazz, swing, and New Orleans styles. We are a group of passionate musicians: Jim Smith on guitar, Mike DeMonte on drums, Orlando Fiol on piano, and Madison Rast on bass. Together we create a beautiful sound, taking you back in time to a place where music thrived and rhythm was prized.
Tenor Guitar (a four string guitar) and Vocals When Jim Smith was a young boy growing up in Horseheads, NY, he bit the head off a live chicken. This was not the chicken’s fault. To be fair, it wasn’t even really Jim’s fault. It was the fault of whoever had leaked the news to Jim that biting the heads off chickens was the means by which a circus geek made his living. Jim wanted to be prepared. Jim would say this was a good idea since he turned out to be a geek. Elizabeth Gilbert
Along with these accomplishments, Jim has been on the artists roster for the Pennsylvania Council on Art since 1984. In 1994, Jim performed at the First International Louis Armstrong Jazz Festival in LeHarve, France. Jim has also traveled the world as a Jazz ambassador for the state department. He has an extensive knowledge of American popular songs from the 1920s, 30s, and 40s.
Madison Rast - Bass
North Carolina native Madison Rast graduated from the prestigious North Carolina School of the Arts in Winston-Salem and received his MA from Virginia Commonwealth University. He moved to Philadelphia in the fall of 1999 to pursue a career in jazz. Since that time he has become one of the areas most in demand sidemen. His solid and steady basslines have supported many notable musicians including Mickey Roker, Orrin Evans, Sean Jones, and Joanna Pascale. Recent projects of his include recording a debut CD of his own original songs and arrangements, and a recording project with pianist Gary Dial and saxophonist Dick Oatts, in which the poetry of Walt Whitman is set to original music.
Mike DeMonte - Drums
From the many bars featuring Jazz Organ trios that once dotted Philadelphia's neighborhoods to his work in traditional Jazz and New Orleans styles, Mike DeMonte has long been a part of the Philadelphia music scene. He has performed and recorded with such Philadelphia greats as Sonny Troy, Jimmy Bruno and larry McKenna.