Tuesday, March 22, 2016  6pm

Dorothy Darling Productions presents a special event featuring The Queen of Boogie Woogie Sue Palmer and swing/bluesmen Lex & Joe as they return to MA4 for another performance that’ll raise the roof!

Local favorite Sue Palmer has been making her mark in the last decade with her high energy band, the Motel Swing Orchestra, and her flashy boogie woogie stylings.

Lex Romane, with his distinctive vocals, plays guitar, fusing the intense rhythmic drive of masters like Freddie Green with modern R&B feeling, and Joe Riillo, a classically trained clarinetist and a master of R&B & Jazz, return to the West Coast to share their inimitable style.

Special guest vocalist Dorothy Darling will join them on a few tunes.


• $25 Reserved Seating
• Includes Hosted 3-Course Dinner
• Doors Open At 6pm, Dinner Service Begins at 6:30pm, Show Begins at 8pm
• No Refunds/Exchanges


Sue is best known for her beehive-wearing stint with blues diva Candye Kane in the ’90’s. She’s been making her mark in the last decade with her high energy band, the Motel Swing Orchestra, and her flashy boogie woogie stylings. Wearing a couple of pounds of big cocktail rings on each hand, she wails through a very complete blues keyboard vocabulary like the veteran she is.

Sue has performed with many of the legends of the boogie genre, playing double piano with Marcia Ball, Hadda Brooks, Sonny Leyland, Steve Lucky, Jeannie Cheathem, Ricky Nye, Mr. Boogie Woogie (from the Netherlands), Mike Seeley, Caroline Dahl,  Wendy Dewitt, Lisa Otey, Doña Oxford, Deanna Bogart, Silvan Zingg (Switzerland), Janie-Noele Helies (France), Elena Tourbina (Russia) and Jan Preston (New Zealand).

Sue, known widely as San Diego’s Queen of Boogie Woogie, has been honored by her city for her cultural contributions by having a day named after her (March 25th, 2008), played at the Arches Piano Stage in Cinncinnatti (2008), won the International Blues Challenge in Memphis for Best Self Produced CD 2008 (“Sophisticated Ladies”) from the Blues Foundation,  won numerous San Diego Music Awards for her albums and bands, including Best Blues Album 2010 for her first solo piano album “After Hours,” and in December 2010, won the “Jim Croce Award for Excellence and Dedication to Music, 2010,” from his widow, Ingrid Croce. 

Jan/Feb 2010 brought her a stint as Musical Director for the world premiere of Candye Kane’s play, “Toughest Girl Alive,” at Moxie Theatre in San Diego. The show played to sold out crowds and rave reviews, and included one of Sue’s own compositions (with Kane), Highway of Tears (vocal version of Blue and Tan).

2014 included Boogie Woogie tours to the Bay area in California, Silvan Zingg’s International Boogie Woogie Festival in Lugano, Switzerland, and a tour to Georgia for the Motel Swing Orchestra for the Americana Blues Festival on Saint Simon’s Island. Sue was also the band leader for a 10 piece all woman blues revue for San Diego’s Gator by the Bay Festival: “Ladies Shoes Blues Revue.” This show, featuring Deanna Bogart on sax and Carmen Getit on guitar, was the highlight of the whole 4 day festival. Sue Palmer & Her Motel Swing Orchestra were also privileged to play at the 2014 Jazz Festivals in Sun Valley and San Diego, 2014.

“Her legs bowed intently, the laughter dancing above her fingertips, like a pool shark she is right on the money. Madame Palmer sets free the walking bass and the eight to the bar so inherent in this style of music. This musician possesses all the secrets of Boogie Woogie.” -Le Monde, Paris, 1997


Lex and Joe have been playing music up and down the East Coast for over twenty years. A shared interest in the fabled swing era of the 1930’s and 40’s as well as more contemporary Rhythm and Blues, has resulted in this enduring and productive collaboration. Even though swing’s their thing, Lex and Joe’s play list encompasses Jelly Roll Morton, Duke Ellington, Fats Waller, and songs from Van Morrison, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Tom Waits, and Leon Redbone. Solidly based in the blues, Lex and Joe combine strong rhythm playing with diverse instrumental timbres.

Lex Romane plays guitar, fusing the intense rhythmic drive of masters like Freddie Green with modern R&B feeling. In his distinctive vocals, Lex shows the influence of such varied artists as Muddy Waters, Van Morrison, and Leon Redbone.

Joe Riillo, a classically trained clarinetist, quickly discovered the enticements of R&B and Jazz. Switching to the saxophone, he developed a singular style influenced by artists ranging from King Curtis and Johnny Almond to Cannonball Adderley and Lester Young. On the clarinet, he offers tribute to Pete Fountain, Jimmy Hamilton, and Eddie Daniels. Joe also plays flute.

So if you like swing and blues with an extensive range of instrumental textures, check out Lex & Joe.


First Course

Organic Mixed Greens Salad

Herbed Goat Cheese / Figs / Candied Pistachios / Red Wine Vinaigrette


Second Course, Choice of 

Pistachio Crusted Salmon

Risotto / Market Vegetables / Cherry Pinot Glaze / Garnish


Peppercorn Crusted Flank Steak

Whipped Potato Puree / Market Vegetables / Cabernet Sauce / Garnish


Third Course

Chocolate Espresso Cake

Mousse / Shavings / Chantilly Cream / Garnish