Laura Windley

Chick Webb Night Live Stream Recording

Here it is, 3 sets (and two encores!) of Chick Webb music in all its glory at Lindy Focus 2016!  As with any tribute, we hope that the band was able to capture the magic of a night at the Savoy Ballroom, with the most famous of the Savoy’s house bands.  Much love to everyone who contributed to the transcription project to make this dream a reality!

Transcriptions by Mark Lopeman, Dan Barrett, and Keenan McKenzie.  Performed by the Jonathan Stout Lindy Focus All-Star Orchestra, with Jonathan Stout (guitar), Chris Dawson (piano), Marquis Howell (bass), Josh Collazo (drums), Gordon Au (trumpet), Ken McGee (trumpet), Jon-Erik Kellso (trumpet), Lucian Cobb (trombone), Dan Barrett (trombone), Albert Alva (reeds), Dan Levinson (reeds), Jonathan Doyle (reeds), Keenan McKenzie (reeds), and Laura Windley (vocals).

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2015 International Lindy Hop Championships

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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!

Boilermaker Jazz Band at CUALX

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Excited to be joining up with Pittsburgh’s fantastic Boilermaker Jazz Band to sing at CUALX (Catholic University of America Lindy Exchange) this Friday, March 21, 2014! My husband, trombonist Lucian Cobb, and I will be filling in for regulars Gerry and Jennie.

It’s a college Lindy exchange, but we hope the college kids and the rest of the DC swing dance community will come swing out!

Performing with the Craig Gildner Big Band, February 16, 2013

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The Craig Gildner Big Band is making its debut on February 16, 2012 at Glen Echo Park and Craig has invited my husband, trombone player Lucian Cobb, and I to perform with the band! Craig has selected some great swing tunes for this dance, which is sponsored by DCLX, the Washington, D.C. Lindy Exchange. Come one, come all to the Spanish Ballroom on February 16!

From the Facebook invite:

“DCLX is proud to present the premier performance of The Craig Gildner Big Band in the Spanish Ballroom at Glen Echo Park on Saturday, February 16th!

This 12 piece orchestra combines the finest talent from the DC area with vintage arrangements designed for dancing. A big band is only as good as its rhythm section, and The Craig Gildner Big Band is a serious contender. The dynamics and blend of the sections creates an exciting experience: it can whisper and roar all in the same song. Also featuring Lucian Cobb on trombone and the lovely Laura Windley on vocals from the Mint Julep Jazz Band. Don’t miss the premier event for CGBB!!

The dance is $16 and begins at 9pm.

There will be a beginner swing lesson included in the cost of the dance from 8:00-9:00 PM. (Dance from 8:00 PM to 12:00 AM.)

Hope to see you all there!

Glen Echo Spanish Ballroom
7300 MacArthur Blvd.
Glen Echo, Maryland”

Pure Balboa Class at The Lindy Lab, Wednesdays in October!

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:

It doesn’t look like we are moving, but I promise our feet are moving really fast!

“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!

All Balboa Weekend 2012

This weekend is my favorite swing dance event of the year, All Balboa Weekend in Independence, Ohio. I’ll be DJ’ing again this year and look forward to playing entire sets of uptempo classic swing music. Ahhhhh!

I am also looking forward to sharing the DJ booth with the esteemed head DJ Kyle Smith and a team of national and international swing DJs, including Sandrine Gressier (Toulouse, France), Christian Bossert (Zurich, Switzerland), Jo Ann Coker (Seattle, WA), and Kristy Milliken (Durham, NC). This is also the first time I have seen the female DJs outnumber the male DJs at a national swing dance event that is not geared towards followers – go ladies!

I’ll also be reporting on Cleveland’s numerous and fabulous vintage stores, as well as the event vendors , for the Lindy Shopper blog.

Queen City Lindy Exchange 2012

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!

For more information on the event and the Saturday night dance, please visit http://www.qclx.org/.

Vaudevillain Revue presents “The Bootlegger’s Ball” – February 10, 2012

Looking forward to making my second appearance as a Vaudevillain, this time in a 1920’s/1930’s themed show, which is definitely up my alley. I’ll be lending my dancing, vocal, and choreography talents to this show – very excited!

Here’s the skinny:

The VaudeVillain Revue
is back with their biggest, most ambitious show yet – The Bootlegger’s Ball!! We’ll take you back to the Roaring 20s and into the 30s, with flappers, gangsters, big bands, and jazz. The cast for this show is fantastic, including aerialists, hoopers, pole athletes, burlesque dancers, jazz dancers, and the mentalist and magician, The Amazing Leoni. Guest performers include the banjo-player extraordinaire Curtis Eller, darkly beautiful belly dancer, Amelia Mourningstar, and a visit from NYC’s tapper, flapper, and gal-about-town, Kristen Minksy (one half of the NYC duo, The Minsky Sisters). This is not a show to be missed!

Doors open at 9:00 p.m., show starts at 10:00 p.m.. $15 at the door, $12 in advance. Vintage or costume attire desired, but not required. There will be prizes from our sponsors, Galaxy Cinema and Aradia Fitness, and a new seating plan to better accommodate our guests!

Advance tickets available here. We will sell out, so make sure to get your tickets ahead of time and get in line early to make sure you get a good seat!

Vote for Laura Windley in the Hawkeye Swing Festival’s Choreography Contest!

I’ve entered the Hawkeye Swing Festival’s Choreography Contest and I’d love to have your vote! If you’d like to vote for my routine or any of the other routines, please fill out this survey at Survey Monkey: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/hsfchoreocomp

For more information on the competition, please visit the Hawkeye Swing Festival’s website. The winner will be decided by popular vote and you can only vote once. Voting ends December 31, 2011.

Here are the entry videos, going in the order in which they appeared on the Hawkeye Swing Festival’s Facebook page:

Laura Windley

Katibeth Lee

Jerry Foote and Robin Carlson

Serge Nika Berg and Sarah Relander

Gabriella Cook

Michael Brafford and Dee Daniels Locke

Stacia Martin and Jeremy Fischer

FAQ About Mint Julep Jazz Band

Starting a new band raises a lot of questions – in conversations with people, these questions have come up most frequently, so here’s a little FAQ to get you more acquainted with the Mint Julep Jazz Band:

What kind of music will you play?

We will focus on music from the 1920’s and 1930’s, but some early 1940’s tunes may creep into the mix. The band will be playing arrangements that are either transcribed from original recordings or reproductions of original recordings (or a combination of both – sometimes having a hi-fi reference helps a lot) and arrangements that our maestro Lucian Cobb creates on his own, based on songs from this era. We will be playing a few arrangements Lucian has done in the past and songs you may have heard vocalist Laura Windley perform, but the majority of the material will be new. Most importantly, this music will swing!

How many people will be in the band?

Right now, we really like the idea of having either a 7 or 8 piece band, giving us either a 3 or 4 piece rhythm section with 3 horns, plus a vocalist. With this format, we are able to play arrangements of big band or smaller group charts, giving us a fuller sound than a jazz combo. We are also able to offer a more affordable alternative to a big band.

Will you have a smaller group?

Unfortunately, we will not have a smaller group. We understand that this limits the venues we can play, especially locally, but we are more interested in creating a specific sound.

Who is going to be in the band?

We’d like to have a set lineup, but in the jazz world this is not always possible – some of our band members have bands of their own, so we are fortunate enough to have other jazz musicians that we have worked with in the past to fill their shoes. You can be sure you will see Peter Lamb (sax), Al Strong (trumpet), Aaron Tucker (drums), Jason Foureman (bass), Aaron Hill (sax), Rich Willey (trumpet), Kyle Santos (trumpet), Mark Wells (piano), and other great jazz musicians from the Triangle and beyond who we enjoy performing with and will lend their unique talents to this endeavor.

When will you be ready to play?

The goal is to be ready in March and, indeed, we’ve already got gigs in March 2012 and beyond! For more details, see our calendar page. We do have a show on February 23 for RDU Rent Party – we invite everyone to come to this sneak preview!

Where will you play?

Our bread and butter will be swing dances, and we’ve already got a wedding on the books. We are also available for community events, outdoor festivals, jazz societies, schools, private parties, charity events/fundraisers, historic and reenactment-related events, and, really, anywhere that people enjoy music. We are looking to travel outside of the Triangle area of North Carolina and would welcome gig opportunities in other cities.