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Durham Magazine – Getting to Know the Mint Julep Jazz Band

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Durhamites, be sure to pick up a copy of the April, 2016 issue of Durham Magazine for a feature on the Mint Julep Jazz Band!  Durham Magazine writer Sophia Lucente interviewed yours truly, Lucian Cobb, and Keenan McKenzie to put together this snapshot of the band’s history and life in Durham.  You can read the article (as well as the entire issue) online here.

Mystery Brewing’s Firstyfourth Birthday Bash – February 29, 2016

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I am excited to be invited to perform at Mystery Brewing Company‘s magical leap year birthday celebration on February 29, 2016 – are they turning 1?  Are they 4?  It’s both!  I’ve put together a trio of Mint Juleps and we’ll be on hand to swing some tunes and eat delicious food truck fare from  Chirba Chirba AND Parlez Vous Crepes (OMG).  Mystery Brewing will be launching four new beers that night and offering a Firstyfourth Birthday Mixed 4-Pack available only at the brewery: A Singel (Sancho), Dubbel (Orpheus), Tripel (Mousqueton), and Quad (Eurydice).  COME DRINK THIS BEER WITH US.  Live music fro 7:30-9:30 p.m., no cover!

They’ll also be announcing the winners of the Scavenger Hunt, have party games with other prizes, give tours of the brewery, and there will even be a birthday cake!

Farewell 2015, It’s Been Swell!

Just a little note to say thank you to everyone who has come out to a gig, hired me to sing with their band, hired the Mint Julep Jazz Band, and supported the Mint Julep Jazz Band’s Kickstarter and resulting album. In 2015 I performed 58 nights with 4 different bands in 13 states – 2016, I am ready for you! Look for more singing, DJ’ing, and an appearance on Michael Gamble and his Rhythm Serenaders‘ new album!

Lindy Focus 2015

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What could be better than five nights of big band music featuring a different swing era bandleader each night? Doing it all over again, getting another crack at those charts, and delighting dancers, both who loved the experience before and dancers who missed the joy of this event last year. I am delighted to be returning to Lindy Focus to sing five nights with the all-star Lindy Focus edition of the Jonathan Stout Orchestra and I’ll be lending my voice to Michael Gamble and his Rhythm Serenaders at one of the late night dances. I’ll also be DJ’ing in the Balboa room at some of the late night dances – this will be a very DO ALL THE THINGS kind of Lindy Focus for me! See you in Asheville December 27-31, 2015 to ring in the new year!

Here’s the lineup of musicians this year, in case you were curious:

Albert Alva (Saxes & Clarinet)
Gordon Au (Trumpet & Music Instructor)
Lucian Cobb (Trombone)
Josh Collazo (Drums & Music Instructor)
Paul Cosentino (Saxes, Clarinet, & Music Instructor)
Jonathan Doyle (Saxes, Clarinet, & Bandleader!)
Michael Gamble (Bass)
Craig Gildner (Piano)
Ryan Gould (Bass & Music Instructor)
Jake Handelman (Trombone)
Noah Hocker (Trumpet)
David Jellema (Cornet)
Jason Jurzak (Bass & Music Instructor)
Ken McGee (Trumpet)
Keenan McKenzie (Saxes, Clarinet, & Music Instructor)
Dean Mitchell (Saxes)
Ben Polcer (Trumpet & Music Instructor)
James Posedel (Piano)
Brooks Prumo (Guitar)
Hal Smith (Drums)
Jonathan Stout (Guitar & Bandleader!)
Allan Vache´ (Clarinet)
Dave Wilken (Trombone, Music Instructor and Program Overseer)
Russ Wilson (Drums, Vocals on “Basie Night”!)
Laura Windley (Vocals & DJ)

Whistle Stop 2015 – Purdue University

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On November 13, 2015, the Mint Julep Jazz Band will take its longest road trip to date, to West Lafayette, Indiana for Purdue University’s annual swing dance workshop weekend, Whistle Stop 2015! We’ll be performing on Friday and Saturday night at the main dances for the event on Purdue University’s campus. We’ll also have some free time on Saturday – what does one do in West Lafayette? If you have any suggestions, drop us a line!

For more information about the event (hosted and organized by Purdue Night Train, the university’s swing dance club), visit the event Facebook page, which is serving as the event website – they have a great lineup of instructors and The Fried Bananas will be dishing out the tunes for the late night dances.

Nevermore Jazz Ball and St. Louis Swing Dance Festival, November 5-8, 2015

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I am pleased as punch to be taking my first trip to St. Louis, MO and the excitement is twofold – I have several old, dear friends who have moved there that I am excited to visit and I will be performing at the Nevermore Jazz Ball for two nights with Michael Gamble and the Rhythm Serenaders! I hope to also take in some sights (re: vintage shopping) and look forward to listening to some great St. Louis bands at the event’s Cherokee Street Jazz Crawl – like a bar crawl (actually a bar crawl?) for Lindy Hoppers with different dance bands at each bar/venue. See you soon, St. Louis!

Battle Axe: Front to Back – October 14, 2015

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To celebrate the release of the Mint Julep Jazz Band‘s new album Battle Axe, we are going to do a Front to Back concert, wherein we perform the entirety of Battle Axe from track 1 all the way through track 16 in order!

This is a free show at the wonderful new Blue Note Grill location near the old Durham Bulls field in the warehouse district – there will be much more room to dance! Join us for dinner at 8:00 p.m., show begins at 9:00 p.m. and runs until we finish!

If you still need to pick up a copy of the album, we’ll have plenty on hand at the show, or you can buy it just about anywhere digital music is sold – CD Baby, iTunes, Amazon, Spotify…

See you Wednesday! Try the ribs!

Battle Axe Review on Jazz Lives Blog

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Thanks so much to Michael Steinman of the Jazz Lives blog for this detailed and wonderful review of Battle Axe! The Mint Julep Jazz Band is delighted to be included on his blog, with his thoughtful research and review of the many jazz giants performing traditional jazz of yesteryear and of today.

If you love traditional jazz and swing, I would recommend following Michael’s blog (*ahem* swing DJs) – it is comprehensive, updated regularly, and features wonderful artists, both new and old. Michael’s dedication to the research, review, and enjoyment of this music and the artists definitely shows in his writing.

Bal-ast Off in Huntsville, Alabama – July 31-August 2, 2015

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I’m excited to be visiting and singing, for the very first time, the state of Alabama to perform at Bal-ast Off with Michael Gamble and his Rhythm Serenaders! I will also be DJ’ing this weekend of Balboa workshops and dances in Huntsville, along with head DJ Kyle Smith and DJ Erica Vess. As of the date of this post, the event is almost sold out – get your tickets fast and join the flight crew at Bal-ast Off! 😀

Stompology 2015

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!

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