recording

Glenn Crytzer’s Pegu Club Allstars – August 16, 2015

I went to New York a couple of weekends ago and a highlight of my trip was being invited to sit in with Glenn Crytzer’s Pegu Club Allstars, who have a regular Sunday night gig at Pegu Club, a wonderful cocktail bar in Manhattan. The band is a somewhat rotating cast of NYC’s hot jazz greats and this particular week included Glenn Crytzer (guitar), Sean Cronin (bass), Jason Prover (trumpet), and Dennis Lichtman (clarinet). Here are three videos from that night, filmed by the ever thoughtful Voon Chew:

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Mint Julep Jazz Band Kickstarter Fully Funded!

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As of November 28, the Mint Julep Jazz Band reached (and even surpassed) the $6,000 funding goal on our Kickstarter campaign to raise money to produce our first CD! We are overwhelmed and so grateful for the generosity of all of our backers, particularly, the Triangle Swing Dance Society, who was not only our largest monetary backer, but also pledged the amount that sent us over our $6,000 goal. Thanks to your help and the magic of crowd funding, the Mint Julep Jazz Band is going to record a CD in January!

The other brilliant part of this is that we reached our funding goal in 28 days, which is just under half the amount of time we allotted to meet our goal. This means that the Kickstarter does not officially end until December 30, so if you’d still like to pre-order a CD or support the Kickstarter for other rewards, you have until December 30 to do so. If you’d like to view our Kickstarter, visit http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/laurawindley/mint-julep-jazz-bands-first-cd-durham-on-saturday.

Thanks again! We really couldn’t have done it without you!

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.

Closed Doors, Open Windows, and Starting a New Band

In light of recent events and a lot of questions from friends and fans, I feel the need to clarify a few things. A couple of weeks ago I received an email from Atomic Rhythm All-Stars bandleader, George Knott, terminating my involvement with the band as the vocalist and as the marketing person for the band. My involvement was terminated over a dispute regarding intellectual property rights. As of two weeks ago, I will no longer be performing with the Atomic Rhythm All-Stars and have been removed from all future performance dates.

I’d like to thank those of you who have been supportive of me during this time. It’s tough to pour your heart and soul into a project for three years, use your contacts to obtain gigs for the band, invest time and effort into developing an online presence and fan base, share in the joys and woes of being part of a band, and see something you got into on the ground floor grow and flourish, only to have your efforts and talents be deemed unnecessary.

To borrow from lyrics, the song is ended, but the melody lingers on…after hearing the news, my friends expressed that I should start my own band. I discussed this with my husband, trombone player and arranger Lucian Cobb, who is leaving the Atomic Rhythm All-Stars as well, and we both decided that we love this music too much to stop playing it. As our options for joining other bands as regular members are non-existent in Raleigh/Durham, we will be forming our own group to play 1920’s, 30’s, and 40’s jazz, featuring Lucian’s arrangements from Atomic and many more new arrangements. We will also need a band name, equipment, ideas for songs, a book, a website, and gigs, among other things I’m sure we haven’t considered. It’s hard to start all over again, but, hopefully, we will continue our dreams of playing vintage jazz music and share the joy of this music through a different conduit.

We already have a gig on the books for next year and are accepting gigs for dates in March 2012 and beyond. Thank you to everyone who has faith in my abilities as a vocalist, organizer, and business-woman. I look forward to performing for you again!