Many years ago in a land far away, a band of incredible talent was born. It just so happens that The Fried Bananas was born that year as well. The spot: Shawn’s living room. The event: a 30th birthday celebration. The reason: to make beautiful music together. Since then, The Fried Bananas have traveled the country with a single mission – to swing harder than a 5-year-old at recess and, more importantly, to make people dance!
The band’s co-founders, Shawn Hershey and Josh Fialkoff are also dancers at heart (and on the floor). In fact, here’s an embarrassing video of Josh (don’t tell him we put this here) and one of Shawn Hershey that demonstrates what it looks like when someone actually knows how to dance. And so, every Susie Q, every Boogie Back, every Tranky Doo, everything these guys learned about shaking it was bottled up and fed to The Fried Bananas. To this day, both Josh and Shawn make their living selling bottled dance moves to people who’ve lost the groove, and playing music for people who are so spectacular it hurts our hearts to even think about.
Where have you played?
We play primarily for swing and blues dancers and have played a number of dances and events in the United States and Canada. Here are some we’ve recently played:
- Montreal Dance Fest (Montreal)
- Mobtown Ballroom (Baltimore)
- DCLX monthly dance at Glen Echo (DC)
- bluesSHOUT! (Chicago)
- Austin Blues Party (Austin)
- Nocturne Blues (NYC)
- Boston Swing Central (Boston)
What kind of music do you play?
Our focus is on jazz up to circa 1940. We love Basie and Ellington but also Louis Armstrong and Sidney Bechet. But we’ll play pretty much whatever is needed to get our crowd up and dancing. In that sense, we’re not too different from the big bands back in the day.
Who’s in the band?
Our core group consists of:
Shawn Hershey – Trumpet
Joshua Fialkoff – Piano/Vocals
Matt Keppler – Bass
Alex Maio – Drums
We almost always play with a guest or two though. Here are some folks who’ve joined us over the years:
How do I learn how to dance like Shawn Hershey?
Great question! Turns out that, in addition to touring the country to play, Shawn also regularly competes and teaches at blues and Lindy events. Just shoot us an email, and it’ll only be a matter of time before people are checking out your fly dance moves.