blues

The Preservatory Project Presents: The Artist’s Role, January 20, 2018

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I am honored to be invited to speak and perform as part of a collaborative show in Durham called The Artist’s Role, with some incredible performers and historians who I will be humbly and respectfully in awe of for the duration of the show, for their work, their knowledge, and their contributions to the arts.

What is this show?  Here’s the story from the source:

“The Urban Artistry Preservatory Project, an initiative of Urban Artistry, An International Culture and Education Project, presents The Artist’s Role, an evening of music, dance, narrative, and visual art. Featured performers include three generations of tradition-bearers and innovators: NEA National Heritage Fellows Phil Wiggins and John Dee Holeman, Shana Tucker, Laura Windley, Joe Seamons and Ben Hunter. Featuring visual art by Darius Quarles and co-hosted by Greg Adams of the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage and Junious Lee Brickhouse of Urban Artistry, An International Culture and Education Project.

Tickets $12 in advance, $15 at the door theartistsrole.eventbrite.com

For The Artist’s Role, the Preservatory Project has chosen artists who, along with being talented and entertaining performers, are also historians, tradition bearers, and modern-day griots. The musicians span a range of genres and eras, from acoustic country blues to swing to soul. They all share a commitment to elevating the artists and communities who inspired and taught them. It is The Preservatory Project’s hope that the audience will find new ways to engage with and connect with communities that are often marginalized but to whom we owe so much artistically and culturally.”

I’m going to share some of my favorite stories and artists from women’s jazz history, sing a little, dance a little, and collaborate with the other musicians in the show.  I hope you will come and be inspired, engaged, and energized by what you hear and see!

January 20, 2018, 8:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. at The Vault, 1104 Broad Street, Durham, NC

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Double Rent Party Week! Jessy Carolina and the Hot Mess (1/26) and the Floyd Council Memorial Blues Dance (1/28)

It’s a busy week for RDU Rent Party as we play host two two music events – first, on Thursday, January 26, 2012, Jessy Carolina and the Hot Mess return to North Carolina for a dance at Hot Club of Durham’s weekly Lindy Hop and swing night. This 5 piece New York based hot jazz band is full of energy and Jessy belts it out like no other.

Trotter Building
410 W. Geer Street
Durham, NC

Beginner Lesson at 8:00 p.m. with Adam Speen and Abigail Browning (who will be teaching a Dean Collins and Jewel McGowan class series for Hot Club in February – check it out! http://hotclubofdurham.com/2011/12/intermediate-lesson-dance-like-dean-and-shine-like-jewel/)

Dancing from 9:00 p.m. to midnight

Admission is pay-what-you-can with a $10 suggested donation, with all donations going to the band.

Floyd Council

Second, RDU Rent Party welcomes back th’ Bullfrog Willard McGhee and Tad Walters for a very special edition of Rent Party, where all the proceeds of this dance will go to the Floyd Council Memorial Project. Floyd Council was a Piedmont Blues guitarist and singer who began playing in Chapel Hill in the 1920’s and rose to prominence in the 1930’s when he recorded with blues musician Bind Boy Fuller. His influence is widespread, including serving as inspiration and partial namesake of the band Pink Floyd. Floyd Council presently lies in an unmarked grave in the White Oak A.M.E. church cemetery in Sanford, North Carolina. The goal of the Floyd Council Memorial Project is to raise funding in order to:

1) Clear trees and brush at the cemetery
2) Place a marker to memorialize Floyd in recognition for his contribution to Blues
3) Establish long term care and maintenance of the memorial and its immediate surroundings
4) Possible creation and promotion of an annual Floyd Council Memorial Blues Festival

Come out and support th’ Bullfrog’s efforts to promote North Carolina’s blues music heritage and honor one of its most prominent musicians. It will be a night of blues that will make you sway and keep your toes tapping, at any tempo!

Triangle Dance Studio
2603 S. Miami Blvd.
Durham, NC

7:00 p.m. – Beginner lesson

8:00-11:00 p.m. – th’ Bullfrog and Tad play, with special guests John D. Holeman and Lightnin’ Wells

As always, Rent Party is pay what you can with a suggested $10 minimum donation to the band

TSDS Battle of the Genres DJ Swing Dance

On Saturday, January 7, 2012, I will be one of three DJs battling it out in the first ever Triangle Swing Dance Society Battle of the Genres. I will be representing pre-WWII swing, Jason Sager will be playing post-WWII swing, and Kristy Milliken will dish out a healthy portion of blues, soul, and anything else you can swing out to.

We’ll also be continuing our March Madness-style battle of classic swing songs, where you’ll vote with your feet and your applause to determine the best classic swing song!

Saturday’s showdown is from 8:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. at the Murphey School, 3717 Murphy School Road, Durham, NC. Admission is $7 for members and students, $10 for non-members.

And eat your Wheaties! It’s going to be an awesome night!

Pink Renaissance: A Jazz Affair

This Friday, September 23, 2011, I will be performing with the Al Strong Quartet +1 as a dancer at Pink Renaissance: A Jazz Affair. This concert is a fundraiser sponsored by the Kappa Alpha Alpha Sorority and the money raised will go to scholarships. The concert will feature some early jazz tunes, to fit the Harlem Renaissance theme, and will feature the dancing of local swing dancers, including myself, performing Lindy Hop, Balboa, Charleston, and Blues dancing to the music performed by the band.

The event runs from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. and will also feature heavy hors d’oeuvres and an amazing cake created by Gregory Bingham of The Art of Cake.

UNC- Chapel Hill, Sonja Haynes Stone Center Theater
150 South Road
Chapel Hill, NC

For more information visit the Kappa Alpha Alpha web site.

Rent Party: Piedmont Blues Edition featuring th’ Bullfrog Willard McGhee and Tad Walters, August 12, 2011

On Friday, August 12, 2011, RDU Rent Party is playing host to the swing dance debut of Bullfrog Willard McGhee. Simply known as th’ Bullfrog to many of his fans, his bio describes him as “A multi-instrumentally talented, rambling-shaggy-dog-story-​telling, torch-song-sentimental-bee​r-hall-bawdy-songwriting genius.” He is every part a serious blues man, storyteller and historian of Piedmont and Mountain blues. If you have any interest in blues, southern culture, or serious dance music, you owe it to yourself to be here.

And if you are not blues dance inclined, never fear! There will still be plenty of danceable music for at a variety of tempos and a beginner blues dance lesson before the dance.

Triangle Dance Studio – upstairs studio
2603 S. Miami Blvd.
Durham, NC

Beginner blues dance lesson from 8:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., band plays from 9:00 p.m. to 12:00 a.m. Admission is pay what you can with a $10 suggested donation.