West coast friends and beyond, please join us Labor Day weekend 2018 at Camp Hollywood in Los Angeles for our west coast debut! We’ll be performing at the Friday evening dance (August 31) at Camp Hollywood at the LAX Marriott from 9:00 p.m. to midnight and the theme for the night is a tribute to the classic Hollywood film Cabaret, so come in your 1920’s/cabaret/chorus girl/emcee/Bob Fosse finest. Camp Hollywood is one of the largest and longest-running swing dance camps/competition weekends in the United States and it’s an honor for us to be invited to perform! For more information and to register, visit the Camp Hollywood website.
One of the signature tracks from our first album Durham on Saturday Night is the song One Girl and Two Boys, a classic tune performed originally by NC native Kay Kyser’s orchestra in the 1944 film Swing Fever. We love songs that tell a story, and so do dancers – it’s fun to see how people will put their own spin on this tale of a love triangle, so here are a few interpretations through dance choreography using MJJB’s recording of this song:
One of our favorite chorus girl troupes, New York City’s The Bathtub Ginnys:
A “Dance Wars Spectacular” with dancers Lisa Pearson, Dave Saylors, and Craig Johnston in the signature roles:
And, finally, the winner of the 2013 Jazz Dance Film Fest (and unofficially our first music video), spearheaded by and starring Seattle dancer Jennifer Lee:
The UK-based music and ear-training website Music U interviewed our reed man Keenan McKenzie about his musical origins, his work in the swing dance community, and his new album of original swing music, Forged in Rhythm – check it out and learn a bit more about the man behind the tenor saxophone in the Mint Julep Jazz Band…
Back in October we performed at the Duck Jazz Festival, a fantastic two day jazz festival on the outer banks of North Carolina, and they’ve put together a highlight reel from the festival, including the Mint Julep Jazz Band’s performance at the swing dance lesson taught by Laura Windley and Keenan McKenzie – check it out and make plans to attend this wonderful festival by the sea.
May kicks off the season for outdoor concert series and we’ll be joining the ranks of bands braving the elements to bring you tunes in (hopefully) sunny and pleasant weather! On May 16, 2018 we return to Booth Amphitheater’s Hob Nob Jazz Series for a performance on the back deck from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. – admission is $5 (free for kids 12 and under) and you can either bring a picnic or buy wine and refreshments at the amphitheater. There’s always plenty of room at the amphitheater, both on the deck and in the grass, and the deck is good for dancing!
On May 20, 2018, we’ll be performing as part of the Got to be NC Festival at the North Carolina State Fairgrounds – find us on the stage outside of Dorton Arena playing two sets from 4:15 p.m. to 5:45 p.m. Best of all, admission to the festival is free!
I guess it’s about time we got stickers, right? You can get them at our shows or you can email us at email@example.com to arrange for us to snail mail you a sticker or two – $1 each at shows or $1.50 by mail in the continental U.S.
We performed the music for the finals of the Collegiate Shag Strictly and the Balboa Strictly at Hot Rhythm Holiday 2018, check out these amazing dancers and dig those tunes!
Austin, Texas has an amazing swing dance community and plays host to an entire weekend of Balboa and Collegiate Shag at their annual event Hot Rhythm Holiday – we’re excited to be performing for TWO nights of live music, February 16 and 17, 2018! We’ll be at the main dances each night from 8:15 p.m. to midnight. Be prepared for a bunch of new tunes, maybe some special guests, it’s going to be a swell time. 😉 For more information, visit the HRH website and we’ll see you soon, Austin!
We are excited to announce our addition to the lineup of the 4th Annual Winter Blues Jazz Fest in Williamsburg, Virginia – find us on Friday, January 10, 2018 at the Mixology and Music event at the Williamsburg Lodge, which features a sampling of cocktails from the best bartenders and mixologists in the area and, of course, some hot jazz and swing from yours truly. We play from 7:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. and tickets are $60 per person or $100 per couple for this special event. Purchase tickets at Eventbrite.
Facebook event at https://www.facebook.com/events/698087857043867/
If you love Keenan McKenzie’s original tunes and arrangements on the Mint Julep Jazz Band albums, you can now get even more of this great music in your life – Keenan is releasing a brand new album of original swing music written by the maestro himself called Forged in Rhythm, available now for preview and pre-order on Bandcamp and full release coming December 5!
Here’s Keenan’s post about the album release:
“If you’d asked me a few years ago, I wouldn’t have imagined my first album would be 15 radio-length songs, all in 4/4 time. I now owe so much to the dance community that it’s hard to imagine it going any other way. Swing music has provided some unforgettable experiences and introduced me to a world of wonderful people, including Allison Meeks (you make my heart go thump thump thump!)
I’m thrilled to announce the upcoming release of FORGED IN RHYTHM. This album of original tunes is a celebration of my favorite ‘30s/‘40s musicians and a love letter to the swing dance scene. I got to work with some phenomenal players and great friends, and we had a blast making this record. I can’t wait for you to hear it!
Artwork and design by Ryan Calloway Art
Available December 5th on Bandcamp, CD Baby, iTunes, Amazon and more!”