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Saturday, June 3rd: Swingin’ on Short!
Saturday, June 3rd: Swingin on Short! Swingin’ on Short is Lexington’s annual street dance, this year featuring music by Blair Carmen & the Belleview Boys! Location:
downtown Lexington, corner of Short & Limestone streets. Admission: free! See this link for all the info.
Non dance items of interest – Duke Ellington
o Non dance item of interest – for those interested in the history and culture of the big band swing-era. The Woodford Theater presents…
“A Tribute to Duke Ellington“, May 19-21. A description of the production from their web site: “A musical tribute to the many women who at one time or another in their career, were given the opportunity to song lead with the great Duke Ellington band. This piece takes the audience on a musical journey though the great Jazz age during the Harlem Renaissance. This performance is sprinkled with numerous tidbits of history that will educate the theatre-goer and leave them mesmerized!”
Out of Town Events
o Saturday, May 27th, 6-10 pm: Coney Island USO Swing Dance & Salute to Veterans. Get on up to Coney Island in Cincy for the Cincinnati Warbirds USO Swing Dance & Salute to Veterans, featuring music by the Tom Daugherty Orchestra, featuring their re-creation of the Glenn Miller Army-Air Force WW II band.
A really fun and patriotic event to attend! A lot of people dress vintage / swing-era / military for this event.
o June 8th-11th: All Balboa Weekend (ABW), Independence, OH (about 15 miles SW of Cleveland). There really is no debate: this is the best weekend workshop Balboa event you can attend. For Balboa dancers, this is a must attend event!
Big Band Revival: The Chick Webb Project & Lindy Focus 2016
Mike & Mary were proud to sponsor two of the songs for the Chick Webb Project, a project that transcribed c. 31 songs from the Chick Webb library for live performances, the first which was at Lindy Focus on Thursday night, Dec. 29th, 2016! For the Chick Webb dance, we got to sit in on a rehearsal that afternoon, which was both entertaining and enlightening. Click here for more info.
Mike & Mary – Report on Lindy Focus (LF).
What is Lindy Focus (LF)? As many of you know, LF is an annual event that takes place in Asheville, NC the week between Christmas and New Years. In addition to workshop classes, competitions and other activities, a definite highlight of the event for 2016 was five nights of swing-era big band music that featured the music of Count Basie, Artie Shaw, Chick Webb and Benny Goodman. Due to family obligations, this past year’s event (Dec. 27-31, 2016) was the first chance we’ve had to attend LF – and we picked a good year!
LF 2016. We attended for two days/nights, Dec. 29th & 30th. The Dec. 29th and Dec. 30th nightly dances featured the music of Chick Webb and Benny Goodman, respectively. The music for both dances was truly exceptional. The musicians at Lindy Focus did a great job playing the songs in the right style, and at the correct tempo (and maintaining the correct tempo throughout the entire song). What a treat it was to dance, and listen, to the great swing music of the big band swing-era (instead of the “mayonnaise & white bread” stuff you get from most “big bands” that play these days).
And for those that couldn’t attend the event, here is a link to a You Tube page for the live stream for the Dec. 29th Chick Webb night dance: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jV2M7i8pGl4.
In closing, if you get a chance to attend the LF event in the future, do so – especially if LF continues to feature swing-era big band music for the nightly dances!