If you love Keenan McKenzie’s original tunes and arrangements on the Mint Julep Jazz Band albums, you can now get even more of this great music in your life – Keenan is releasing a brand new album of original swing music written by the maestro himself called Forged in Rhythm, available now for preview and pre-order on Bandcamp and full release coming December 5! I am excited that Keenan decided to write 7 original vocal tunes (in addition to the 8 instrumental tunes) and invited me to sing on his debut release – what a magical thing to be the first to sing a song! We had such fun recording this album in Los Angeles in August and I’ve been eagerly anticipating sharing this album with all of you.
Here’s Keenan’s post about the album release:
“If you’d asked me a few years ago, I wouldn’t have imagined my first album would be 15 radio-length songs, all in 4/4 time. I now owe so much to the dance community that it’s hard to imagine it going any other way. Swing music has provided some unforgettable experiences and introduced me to a world of wonderful people, including Allison Meeks (you make my heart go thump thump thump!)
I’m thrilled to announce the upcoming release of FORGED IN RHYTHM. This album of original tunes is a celebration of my favorite ‘30s/‘40s musicians and a love letter to the swing dance scene. I got to work with some phenomenal players and great friends, and we had a blast making this record. I can’t wait for you to hear it!
Artwork and design by Ryan Calloway Art
Available December 5th on Bandcamp, CD Baby, iTunes, Amazon and more!”
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.
I am delighted to be joining Jonathan Stout‘s bands again for the 2015 International Lindy Hop Championships in Arlington, Virginia! I’ll be singing with Jonathan Stout and his Campus Five (Plus More) on Friday, August 28, 2015 and with the Jonathan Stout Orchestra on Saturday, August 29. Be sure to tune into the Yehoodi broadcast of the event to catch all the wonderful, inspiring dancing from the competitors at this event!
I’ll be returning to Rochester, NY to perform with Jonathan Stout and his Campus Five for Stompology! Join us June 4-7, 2015 for this famous dance weekend, the first of its kind devoted to authentic jazz, Charleston, and solo movement, now in its 10th year. Excited to be performing with the Campus Five again on Friday and Saturday nights of the event and to be able to mark this event off my bucket list!
My next traveling adventure will be roadtripping with my band, the Mint Julep Jazz Band, to Orlando, Florida for ORLX – the Orlando Lindy Exchange! We’ll be performing at the main dances on March 6 and 7, two nights of live music for your Lindy Hopping feet. Looking forward to warmer climates and we hear Orlando has some great venues. Maybe some pool time? Whatever happens, it’s going to be awesome. 🙂
I am excited to announce that the Mint Julep Jazz Band will be working with Common 414, a new 1920’s themed cocktail bar that has opened in Raleigh, NC – three upcoming events of note!
1) Friday, November 14, 2014, the Mint Julep Quintet will play from 8-11p.m. and at 10:00 p.m. we’ll be hosting and playing live music for a Charleston contest! Come show off your gams and your hot jazz moves – the winner of the Charleston contest gets a Mint Julep Jazz Band prize pack (CD, shoe bag, button) and a VIP Booth Package for Common 414 (a $250 value).
2) and 3) On two Sundays in January (11th and 25th), 2015 we begin what we hope will be a regular gig for the Mint Julep Jazz Band, so you can hear all this great music from the 1920’s, 30’s and 40’s performed by our little big band twice a month! We say we hope because continuation of this event depends on you voting to keep MJJB here with your feet and your wonderful presence. Band plays from 7-10 p.m., $5 cover because there are a lot of people in the band!
Thanks so much to Common 414 for giving us this opportunity, it’s rare to see bands this large with regular gigs and we’ll do our best to keep this one – swing out, Raleigh!
I’ve probably lost my mind, but I am beyond excited about the events coming in August and early September! The first two are for fun and the last four are gigs, which also happen to be fun – I love that singing has afforded me such great travel opportunities this year, performing with several different bands! Here’s where I’ll be, barring forces majeure:
August brings a new band to the RDU Rent Party lineup, the incredibly fun Bumper Jacksons. This five piece band from the DC/Baltimore region is a relative newcomer to the dance scene but is already making impressions and drawing attention for their versatility and showmanship. They’ll be playing two Triangle dances on their trip down south, one at TSDS focusing more on trad jazz while their Rent Party debut will trade out a band member and bring pedal steel to the mix giving the RP night a Western swing and country blues flavor.
And, of course, we can’t think about going out West without immediately jumping to that penultimate game of river fording and buffalo slaughter, Oregon Trail. Nothing quite rings in our childhood quite like the frustration of that 200lbs weight limit on carrying meat back from a 5 buffalo hunting excursion. Or pushing the party hard when someone got dysentery just so you could scrawl inappropriate messages on a digital headstone. And of course you’d choose to be a banker and load up on bullets because who cared about the points bonus when you could be rolling 20 oxen deep like a stretch limo of the open plains? This Rent Party will help you relive all those memories without the 2000 mile journey and you won’t have to change disks at Fort Laramie.
Rent Party dances are pay-what-you-can with a suggested $10 donation and all money collected going directly to the band.
Triangle Dance Studio
2603 S Miami Blvd Durham
Beginner lesson at 8
Band plays 9-midnight
NOTICE: Please be aware that street parking is NOT allowed. Please park at the dentist’s office or veterinary office across the street. Last Rent Party we got complaints about people parking on Rolling Pines in front of houses. Your cooperation in respecting the neighbors’ space is integral to us keeping Rent Party going. Thank you for your cooperation.
On Saturday, March 2, 2013, the Mint Julep Jazz Band will be back at the Murphey School for a swing dance, hosted by the Triangle Swing Dance Society. TSDS is also hosting a day of swing dance workshops that Saturday called Localpalooza, which features many of the local swing dance instructors teaching a range of classes for all levels. If you are interested in learning how to dance, this would be a great beginner crash course! If you already know how to dance, there’s a little something for everyone – information on the workshops can be found on the Triangle Swing Dance Society website.
MJJB at the TSDS dance on December 1, 2012
As for the dance, we’ll see you at the Murphey School!
3717 Murphy School Road
Durham, NC 27705
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