This piece offers interesting tidbits of information on the band and the other features that made the Canidrome Ballroom popular during its early stages. Note the combination of African American musicians such as Teddy Weatherford, Bob Hill, Jimmy Carson and also the number of Filipino musicians as well.
Canidrome Ballroom Offers Excellent Entertainments to Shanghai Merrymakers
(The China Press, Dec 8, 1929)
Though In Its Infancy, French Town Dancing and Dining Centre Proves Popular And Should Be Favorite Place During Christmas
Although the Canidrome Ballroom made its bow to the local public little more than two weeks ago, the French Concession dancing and dining centre is without doubt one of the most popular establishments of its nature in Shanghai.
Compared to other dance centres in Shanghai, the Canidrome Ballroom is merely an “infant," but one of these infants that overshadow their parents. In the short course of two months, the Canidrome Ballroom has won for itself tremendous popularity, which can be attested to by the large nightly crowds and the large number of patrons attending the tea dansants.
The principle magnet that attracts is Hill's Ringing Syncopaters, which includes Teddy Weatherford, Shanghai's most popular pianist; Jimmy Carson, “That Croonin' Saxophonist," and Mendex Lewis, the trumpeter who can play tears into the eyes of anyone. With Hill, these three, who are well-known here as members of the old Jack Carter band, form the nucleus of what has been stated by patrons to be one of the best, if not the best dance orchestra in the Orient.
Teddy and Weatherford [sic] are old favorites, especially the former and the title given him as "Black King of the Piano” is certainly no misnomer. Teddy plays anything from Jazz pieces to the most difficult of classical music, and when he plays a real-hot number, he is certainly hard to beat. Carson ranks with the best saxophonists in the Orient and his croonin’ melodies certainly add considerable power to the band.
Another member of the Syncopaters who is rapidly becoming a favourite in Shanghai, is Del Rosario, the trombone player who uses his hands and his feet equally well in manipulating his instrument. Billy Lee, the drummer, is certainly one of the best in Shanghai. Torres, banjoist; Abido, bass; “Pete" and Andayas, saxophonists, are musicians worthy of being members of the Syncopaters, while Hill is a sterling trumpeter who ranks with the best here.
Not only do these lads play, but they sing and their vocal efforts have had a large share in increasing their popularity. That for the orchestra.
Perhaps the next best feature of the Canidrome Ballroom is the excellence of its cuisine, the moderate charge and the very good service. The caterer is “Jumbo,"who is perhaps one of the best known and liked Chinese in Shanghai. "Jumbo" is the caterer of the American Club, the Columbia Country Club, the Macabeean Club, Plaza Hotel, and other places, and his excellent catering has won for him considerable favourable comment.
The cusine at the Canidrome Ballroom is under the supervision of a capable chef which assures satisfaction to all.
Although the entertainment provided since the opening may not have been as good as that provided by Ballrooms in America and England, the artists who have performed at the Canidrome Ballroom were given a very good reception by patrons. While some of the per-formers were well-known here and liked, others were brought to Shanghai especially to entertain the Ballroom patrons, and on the whole, the entertainment has been good.
However, plans have been made to secure the services of a number of coloured singers and dancers from the United States, and at least two American dancing teams, and the management hopes in the very near future to stage a revue that will eclipse anything ever shown here in Shanghai.
The excellence of the floor deserves a good word, as this has contributed to the success of the Ballroom. Smoothly polished, yet not too smooth or Slippery, the floor has been found "just right" by dancers.
The dressing room for ladies at the Canidrome Ballroom, is another important feature. This is decorated in a quiet yet imposing manner, and equipped with practically everything that Milady could wish for, from pins to powder and perfume.