The Riffers are a swing band specializing in original music and tight arrangements from the 1930s and 1940s. Featuring a 3-horn front line, the band's distinctive sound was originally developed for Keenan's 2017 album, Forged in Rhythm. Since then, they have performed at dance weekends from Durham, NC to San Francisco, CA.


The group offers a mix of unique big band reductions and swing-era combo tunes, all with a focus on energy and rhythm. Keenan leads with ten years of experience running bands and playing for dancers. As a Lindy hopper, he programs shows with a critical attention to tempo and emphasizes rhythm and energy on the bandstand.

The Riffers perform as a six-piece up to an eight-piece band with a dedicated vocalist. 2019 Also marked the debut of The Keenan McKenzie Orchestra, which was featured on 4 tracks of the A Bull City Holiday.

DATES for 2020

*Cancelled or postponed due to Covid-19

February 8

Piedmont Swing Dance Sociey, in Winston-Salem, NC

February 11

Vecino Brewing Co, in Carrboro, NC

March 7

Triangle Swing Dance Society, in Durham, NC

April 3

School of Hard Knox, in Knoxville, TN

April 4 (expanded to a 14-piece Orchestra!)

School of Hard Knox, in Knoxville, TN

April 17

DC Lindy Exchange, in Washington, DC

June 4

Mobtown Ballroom, in Baltimore, MD

June 5

Wedding in Baltimore, MD

July 10

Bull City Swingout, in Durham, NC

July 31-Aug 1

Queen City Shuffle, in Charlotte, NC

October 16

Event TBA, in Richmond, VA

See Keenan's full calendar

Cover photo by Micah Joel Haycraft. Additional photos by Conway Li and Copper Key Photo

© 2020 by Keenan McKenzie