Posts Tagged dance
It’s that time of year – the time every year where I drive 8 1/2 hours to my Mecca-of-sorts, All Balboa Weekend in Cleveland, Ohio. There will definitely be a vintage shopping excursion (with a report), with some old favorites and perhaps a new shop for Lindy Shopper. And cupcakes.
I’m looking forward to working with the many of you who volunteered to participate in All Balboa Weekend’s 1940′s fashion show, as well as seeing all the wonderful clothing that you are bringing and that Val and the vendors are providing for the show!
I am also looking forward to performing with my band, the Mint Julep Jazz Band, at the Friday night dance and to singing with the Boilermaker Jazz Band on Saturday. This is really a dream come true, to be able to have my band perform at my favorite dance weekend of the year, and I’m just…over the moon right now. EXCITED!
Yes, I will be doing ALL THE THINGS. Including dancing.
I hope to see some of you there, please come up and introduce yourself if we are not already acquainted.
Onward to Cleveland!
This Saturday, March 9, the Mint Julep Jazz Band hits the road to road to Charlotte, North Carolina for the Queen City Lindy Exchange. We are excited to appear as their Saturday night band for the second year in a row! As North Carolina’s only Lindy Exchange, we are looking forward to some stellar regional dancer attendance, including a large caravan of dancers coming from the Triangle.
Also, QCLX’s theme for this year is Dr. Who – Whovian Lindy Hoppers can participate in a costume contest on Friday night and in a Doctor/Companion Jack and Jill competition on Saturday night.
2101 Shenandoah Ave.
Band plays from 8:00 p.m. to 11:30 p.m.
Admission: Registration information for the weekend at http://www.qclx.org, $25 at the door on Saturday night
P.S. I’m also DJ’ing this weekend – woot!
This weekend I’ll head to Denver, Colorado to DJ some sweet Balboa tunes at the Rocky Mountain Balboa Blowout! I’ve missed this event for the past two years and it’s so wonderful to be able to go again – looking forward to Denver’s wonderful venues, food, dancing, and general shenanigans with my fellow DJs.
As of November 28, the Mint Julep Jazz Band reached (and even surpassed) the $6,000 funding goal on our Kickstarter campaign to raise money to produce our first CD! We are overwhelmed and so grateful for the generosity of all of our backers, particularly, the Triangle Swing Dance Society, who was not only our largest monetary backer, but also pledged the amount that sent us over our $6,000 goal. Thanks to your help and the magic of crowd funding, the Mint Julep Jazz Band is going to record a CD in January!
The other brilliant part of this is that we reached our funding goal in 28 days, which is just under half the amount of time we allotted to meet our goal. This means that the Kickstarter does not officially end until December 30, so if you’d still like to pre-order a CD or support the Kickstarter for other rewards, you have until December 30 to do so. If you’d like to view our Kickstarter, visit http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/laurawindley/mint-julep-jazz-bands-first-cd-durham-on-saturday.
Thanks again! We really couldn’t have done it without you!
It’s the Mint Julep Jazz Band‘s last show of the year and we are delighted to be performing for the Triangle Swing Dance Society for their election/potluck dance. To usher in the season, we’ll be performing a couple of Christmas tunes in our set. Come dance off all the turkey you ate last week!
Triangle Swing Dance Society dance
3717 Murphy School Road, Durham, NC
Admission: Members/students $8.00, general admission $12.00
Free beginner lesson at 7:00 p.m.
Band plays from 8:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.
We are excited to finally press the launch button on the Mint Julep Jazz Band Kickstarter campaign and see if we can raise $6,000 through crowd funding and pre-sales to make our first CD a reality. We’ve got some great rewards in exchange for your backing and support, so here’s the link for our Kickstarter campaign:
We’d like to thank everyone over the past year who has been so supportive of this band and encouraged us to move forward with this project. We are definitely excited about getting into the recording studio and having a CD that we can share with you.
In preparation for the upcoming Eastern Balboa Championships, Jason Sager and I will be teaching a pure Balboa class for The Lindy Lab! Classes will run for four Wednesdays, from October 3 through October 24, 8:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. at Triangle Dance Studio in the Guest House (the house to the left of the main building on Miami Boulevard). Here’s the info from the Lindy Lab website:
“One of the often overlooked dances of the swing world, Pure Balboa is the original close-position-only side of Balboa and Bal-Swing. This dance originally developed in crowded dance halls where owners forbid open position dancing in order to pack in more people and make more money. More than just step step, hold, step, there is a lot of room for improvisation in Pure Bal position. And the better your Pure Bal is, the better those times in between bal-swing toss-outs and lollies will feel. Jason Sager and Laura Windley will lead class in a way that builds on principles rather than moves and gives you plenty to play with at the Eastern Balboa Championships competitions in November in Raleigh.”
Pure Balboa isn’t just for comps, it’s so easy and fun to work into your regular dancing and gives you the fundamentals that make Balboa feel so comfortable, even at faster tempos. Bring your heels and/or your leather soles and we’ll work on all that great shuffle-y, tiny footwork.
Registration is available online at Schedulicity or you can show up at the class to register. See you in October!
While an 8 piece band is great for dances and special events, it is generally too large for restaurants and bars in the Raleigh/Durham area. We’d still like to bring you the hot jazz and swing, so we’ve pared ourselves down to a quintet! The Mint Julep Quintet will have its first performance at G2B Gastropub in Durham, NC on October 5, 2012.
3211 Shannon Rd, Suite 106
8:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.
We’re excited to be performing at G2B – we hope you’ll join us for a delicious dinner or come hang out and grab a beer!
Check out the gorgeous food and beverages on their Facebook page.
I ran across a blog called LiveMusicNC.com and discovered a post called “10 Great Places to See Live Jazz (Plus One Great Show!).” I scanned the list, hoping for a scoop on where I might hear some stride piano, a dixieland group, or a swing band, and there was the same list of venues I check, week after week, that only book bebop, modern, or “straight ahead” jazz.
Clearly, we are not speaking the same language. Where is my jazz?
To say that I am disappointed with jazz in the Triangle is an understatement. This has been the norm, me being hopeful that someone will book one of the local, underrated jazz groups I love that play jazz from the 1920′s, 1930′s, and 1940′s, then being disappointed after reading local concert and venue listings. I have tried to get touring dixieland and swing bands gigs at some of these venues and at other venues that hire live music, but to no avail. I even promise an audience who will pay for the band in tips, and I still get no response.
There’s been a lot of lip service recently about jazz in the Triangle, but if the local venues are only offering a certain type of jazz or only booking certain musicians, is the scene really that vibrant?
What if there’s an entire subset of jazz lovers, new patrons, that you could draw to your venue if you added a few more bands to your lineup?
What if there’s an entire subset of talented jazz musicians you’ve never heard of because they rarely get a chance to play the music that really makes them shine?
MY POINT: We will not have a complete and vibrant jazz community without embracing all forms of jazz.
Jazz did not begin in 1950. There is an extensive, almost endless catalog of songs from the three prior decades that is full of life, energy, relevance, bliss, heartache, humor, love, affection, food, sex, and crazy people. This music is awesome in so many ways and, perhaps, should be performed live because sometimes the recording technology back then wasn’t up to modern snuff.
I want to hear it and I have friends who want to hear it. I’d love to be able to go out to something other than a swing dance and hear “Blues My Naughty Sweetie Gave to Me” or “Dinah” or “Rockin’ in Rhythm.” Can we do this, Triangle? I’ve got the people if you’ve got the space.
To help in understanding where I am coming from, I have compiled a list of reasons why your venue should book musicians who play 20′s, 30′s, and 40′s jazz:
What made the Roaring Twenties fun? It wasn’t just the booze, it was also the music – the two were almost inseparable. This music was made for parties, dance halls, brothels, bars, and just about every place your mother would disapprove of. It’s joyous music with an energy that can lift your spirits.
The jazz of the 1920′s, 30′s, and 40′s is pop music – it was the pop music of its time and, while it sounds somewhat different from today’s pop music, the two are not so far apart. It’s melodic and, for the most part, it has lyrics or is based on songs written with lyrics. It all has a driving rhythm, a certain pulse. Most of it is in a major key and in 4/4 time. I think we’ve met most of the criteria for pop music at this point, so your subconscious should at least warm up to the sound.
I don’t want to spend any time bashing modern jazz, I’ll just say it’s not my bag. It doesn’t speak to me the way earlier forms of jazz have spoken to me. Perhaps I just need something that’s simple to enjoy.
The jazz of the 1920′s through the 1940′s was dance music. In fact, a major divide between this era and the bebop/modern jazz era is that sensibility, that jazz transitioned from something that you danced to into something that you listened to – from the dance hall to the concert hall.
However, dancing isn’t the only function. Think about the music that we dance to today – people play “dance” music in bars and restaurants all the time, but you don’t necessarily get up and dance at those places. Early jazz music can create a similar energy in a room.
A lot of people book jazz groups to set a mood. Perhaps its the instrumentation or the songs themselves, but jazz is a class act. Early jazz can add a different tone of class, obviously harkening back to an earlier, perhaps even more genteel and elegant era of the silver screen, the lawn party, and the supper club. It can be a party, but it can also be a soiree, depending on the song selection.
I see evidence of this mostly at live, outdoor events, but people of all ages love this music. Obviously the people who were there the first time around are fans, but kids immediately start going bananas when they hear an uptempo swing tune and try to get as close to the band as possible. Some of the most vocal fans of this music are from the Baby Boomers. As someone sort of spanning Gen X and Y, I’ve been listening to this music since I was a teenager and there are countless others just like me in cities all over the world, and even a few more like me here in the Triangle.
I’d like to make a difference for my friends who love this music or love to perform this music. I’d like to get excited about events and bands. I’d like to make the Triangle a great place for all kinds of jazz. There is certainly so much potential here, but there is still work left to do to bridge these musical gaps.
The Mint Julep Jazz Band will be celebrating Independence Day at Festival for the Eno! We’ll be performing one set at the River Stage from 2:15 p.m. to 3:15 p.m. The festival is setting up a dance floor in front of the River Stage and Jason Sager is teaching a beginner swing dance lesson at 1:45 p.m., so bring your dance shoes if you are so inclined. It will be a lovely day of picnicing and hot jazz!
West Point on the Eno City Park
5101 North Roxboro Road
River Stage, 2:15 p.m. to 3:15 p.m.
For tickets and information on the festival, directions, and parking, please visit the Festival for the Eno website.