On April 23, 2016, I’m going to dust off my solo dance performance shoes and join the Vaudevillain Revue for a night of entertainment themed around the jazz age and prohibition – I’ll be a featured performer along with vocalist Jo Gore for the Bootlegger’s Ball! Join us at Motorco Music Hall in Durham, NC for comedy, magic, live jazz, circus arts, burlesque, and some solo Charleston, of course! Advance tickets available here, and there’s even a pre-event food tour lead by Taste Carolina if you want to make a big night of it – for the main show, advance tickets are $15, doors at 8:00, show at 9:00.
Durhamites, be sure to pick up a copy of the April, 2016 issue of Durham Magazine for a feature on the Mint Julep Jazz Band! Durham Magazine writer Sophia Lucente interviewed yours truly, Lucian Cobb, and Keenan McKenzie to put together this snapshot of the band’s history and life in Durham. You can read the article (as well as the entire issue) online here.
My first Lindyfest was two years ago where I served as the Balboa DJ for competitions, a special Bal dance, and I even DJ’ed some for Lindy Hop.😉 This long-running workshop weekend is a huge event in Houston, Texas and I’m delighted that they have invited me back to be the Balboa DJ again and sing two nights with the Jonathan Doyle Swingtet! This will be my first time performing with his group, after I first performed with Jonathan at the Nevermore Jazz Ball in St. Louis this past November as part of Michael Gamble and the Rhythm Serenaders, and I’m excited to be working with an amazing group of Austin musicians lead by this powerhouse reed man. World class instruction, the Lone Star Championships, great live and DJ’ed music, and I see that Sugar Sullivan will be joining us! Come to Texas and dance!
I am excited to be invited to perform at Mystery Brewing Company‘s magical leap year birthday celebration on February 29, 2016 – are they turning 1? Are they 4? It’s both! I’ve put together a trio of Mint Juleps and we’ll be on hand to swing some tunes and eat delicious food truck fare from Chirba Chirba AND Parlez Vous Crepes (OMG). Mystery Brewing will be launching four new beers that night and offering a Firstyfourth Birthday Mixed 4-Pack available only at the brewery: A Singel (Sancho), Dubbel (Orpheus), Tripel (Mousqueton), and Quad (Eurydice). COME DRINK THIS BEER WITH US. Live music fro 7:30-9:30 p.m., no cover!
They’ll also be announcing the winners of the Scavenger Hunt, have party games with other prizes, give tours of the brewery, and there will even be a birthday cake!
On January 30, 2016, the Mint Julep Jazz Band returns to the Lone Star State capital to perform at Hot Rhythm Holiday, a weekend of workshops and dances focusing on Balboa and Collegiate Shag and there’s a music track for people who want to learn more about performing jazz! The events take place at the Texas Federation of Women’s Clubs (“the Fed”), a mansion built in 1931 with a gorgeous historic ballroom. We are excited to return to Hot Rhythm Holiday for our second year! And bring on the brisket!
The ballroom at The Fed, taken at Hot Rhythm Holiday 2015
Just a little note to say thank you to everyone who has come out to a gig, hired me to sing with their band, hired the Mint Julep Jazz Band, and supported the Mint Julep Jazz Band’s Kickstarter and resulting album. In 2015 I performed 58 nights with 4 different bands in 13 states – 2016, I am ready for you! Look for more singing, DJ’ing, and an appearance on Michael Gamble and his Rhythm Serenaders‘ new album!
What could be better than five nights of big band music featuring a different swing era bandleader each night? Doing it all over again, getting another crack at those charts, and delighting dancers, both who loved the experience before and dancers who missed the joy of this event last year. I am delighted to be returning to Lindy Focus to sing five nights with the all-star Lindy Focus edition of the Jonathan Stout Orchestra and I’ll be lending my voice to Michael Gamble and his Rhythm Serenaders at one of the late night dances. I’ll also be DJ’ing in the Balboa room at some of the late night dances – this will be a very DO ALL THE THINGS kind of Lindy Focus for me! See you in Asheville December 27-31, 2015 to ring in the new year!
Here’s the lineup of musicians this year, in case you were curious:
Albert Alva (Saxes & Clarinet)
Gordon Au (Trumpet & Music Instructor)
Lucian Cobb (Trombone)
Josh Collazo (Drums & Music Instructor)
Paul Cosentino (Saxes, Clarinet, & Music Instructor)
Jonathan Doyle (Saxes, Clarinet, & Bandleader!)
Michael Gamble (Bass)
Craig Gildner (Piano)
Ryan Gould (Bass & Music Instructor)
Jake Handelman (Trombone)
Noah Hocker (Trumpet)
David Jellema (Cornet)
Jason Jurzak (Bass & Music Instructor)
Ken McGee (Trumpet)
Keenan McKenzie (Saxes, Clarinet, & Music Instructor)
Dean Mitchell (Saxes)
Ben Polcer (Trumpet & Music Instructor)
James Posedel (Piano)
Brooks Prumo (Guitar)
Hal Smith (Drums)
Jonathan Stout (Guitar & Bandleader!)
Allan Vache´ (Clarinet)
Dave Wilken (Trombone, Music Instructor and Program Overseer)
Russ Wilson (Drums, Vocals on “Basie Night”!)
Laura Windley (Vocals & DJ)
On November 13, 2015, the Mint Julep Jazz Band will take its longest road trip to date, to West Lafayette, Indiana for Purdue University’s annual swing dance workshop weekend, Whistle Stop 2015! We’ll be performing on Friday and Saturday night at the main dances for the event on Purdue University’s campus. We’ll also have some free time on Saturday – what does one do in West Lafayette? If you have any suggestions, drop us a line!
For more information about the event (hosted and organized by Purdue Night Train, the university’s swing dance club), visit the event Facebook page, which is serving as the event website – they have a great lineup of instructors and The Fried Bananas will be dishing out the tunes for the late night dances.
I am pleased as punch to be taking my first trip to St. Louis, MO and the excitement is twofold – I have several old, dear friends who have moved there that I am excited to visit and I will be performing at the Nevermore Jazz Ball for two nights with Michael Gamble and the Rhythm Serenaders! I hope to also take in some sights (re: vintage shopping) and look forward to listening to some great St. Louis bands at the event’s Cherokee Street Jazz Crawl – like a bar crawl (actually a bar crawl?) for Lindy Hoppers with different dance bands at each bar/venue. See you soon, St. Louis!