Jerry Rife's Rhythm Kings, who last appeared at TSJS in March, 2015, were inspired by the legendary early bands of New Orleans, most notably the New Orleans Rhythm Kings and the Original Dixieland Jazz Band. From their first concerts in 1984 they were committed to a hot-jazz style of performance that is associated with post-World War II "revival Dixieland," a return to the roots of New Orleans jazz. Jerry Rife earned two degrees in music at Kansas State University before receiving a PhD in Musicology at Michigan State University. Dr. Rife teaches music history and directs the bands at Rider University and is also on the faculty at Westminster Choir College. He has been conductor and musical director of the 70-member Blawenburg Band since 1985. As leader and as a sideman, he has performed traditional jazz frequently for Tri-State Jazz Society and throughout the region. In 2012, he served as leader of the 2012 annual Tri-State Jazz Society jam session.