Always a huge highlight on my calendar, Lindy Focus did not disappoint this year. I performed at each main dance with the Jonathan Stout Lindy Focus All-Star Orchestra, but also did two late night dances – one with Michael Gamble and the Rhythm Serenaders and another with Gordon Au‘s tribute to the Louis Armstrong All-Stars. Dance performances kicked off each late night social dance, with the performers having the option of doing a routine with the live band of the night. I was delighted to be a part of three of these late night performances: first, with the Rhythm Serenaders performing Mildred Bailey’s “Lover Come Back to Me” with Peter Kertz and Elze Visnevskyte dancing; second and third with Au’s Armstrong tribute, performing “Squeeze Me” and “All That Meat and No Potatoes” with co-vocals by Jim Ziegler and a cast of Lindy Focus instructors and performers.
My biggest recurring gig of the past few years is definitely Lindy Focus – five nights of big band music with the Jonathan Stout Lindy Focus All Star Orchestra, with new songs added each year and, for the past three years, an entirely new bandleader’s night of music is performed, thanks to crowd funding from our stellar community of swing music supporters. This year’s lineup from start to finish was Jimmie Lunceford (crowd funded in 2017), Benny Goodman, Lionel Hampton (crowd funded in 2018), Chick Webb (crowd funded in 2016), and “Kitchen Sink Night” on New Year’s Eve, featuring an array of swing era arrangements. All of the main dances are Lindy Focus are live streamed on YouTube, which means you can always go back and listen to the music from each night of dancing later! Here are all the live streams from December 27 through December 31, 2018 – I’m featured, in some way or another, as a vocalist on each night, with a vocal trio on Lunceford night and as a featured vocalist on the other four nights. Put some on while you’re doing chores or on a long drive for some toe-tapping tunes!
My friend Ethan Uslan, he of the ragtime/old time/stride piano playing World Champion fame, received a grant from the North Carolina Arts Council and the Mecklenburg Arts Council to produce a podcast on ragtime and early jazz piano, which he has named The Carolina Shout. Over the summer when the Mint Julep Jazz Band performed in Charlotte, I stopped by Ethan’s house and recorded two duets with Ethan that now appear on episodes 3 and 5 of his podcast. All 10 episodes are available on iTunes, Stitcher, or via his website, and are chock full of Ethan’s humor, wit, early jazz knowledge, and his ebullient piano performances. If your day needs a pick-me-up, this is where to get it!
Bring a lawn chair or blanket and some summer eats (or pick up dinner from one of the food trucks) and relax under the sunset and stars during the concert, or take advantage of the dance floor and a free swing dance lesson by Gottaswing Charlotte on the first band break.
We’re hoping for the same beautiful weather we had last year!
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
On March 10, 2012 the Mint Julep Jazz Band is playing the Saturday night dance at the Queen City Lindy Exchange! The Queen City Lindy Exchange is a weekend-long swing dance event held in Charlotte, NC with dances held throughout the weekend, featuring both DJs and live bands. Speaking of DJs, I will also be one of their featured DJs for the weekend. 🙂 QCLX is organized by Eric and Stephanie Simpson of Lovin’ Lindy, who are the dearest people and I’m looking forward to working with them at this event!
After a week of brainstorming and polling our friends on Facebook, Lucian Cobb and I have a name for the new band we are forming: Mint Julep Jazz Band!
We are excited about having a name because this means we can start marketing the band and setting up all those things bands need, like a website, business cards, a Facebook page, and other identity-related things. It’s hard to book a band without a name, right?
Speaking of booking, we are also excited to announce that the Mint Julep Jazz Band already has two gigs lined up for next year, a wedding and a Lindy exchange – we’ll be playing the Queen City Lindy Exchange in Charlotte, NC on March 10, 2012!