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Our next big milestone is Sesame Street – tune in to Sesame Street on April 18 to hear an original tune by the Mint Julep Jazz Band! If you are in Durham, NC, Sesame Street airs at 10:00 a.m. on PBS.

We’ve been asked a lot about whether or not the band will be seen on the show and if we got to meet the Muppets, etc., but even though we will not appear on the show in person, we are in the business of making music and we are happy to lend our skills to one of the non-Muppet segments that features a great enrichment activity for children. Perhaps we can work our way up to meeting the Muppets, like local legends the Squirrel Nut Zippers. 🙂

For more information about how we snagged this great opportunity, check out our previous post on Sesame Street.

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Tune in to Sesame Street on April 18, 2013 to hear an original Mint Julep Jazz Band song in one of the non-muppet segments! We are excited to have an air date and to finally be able to make this announcement, which we’ve been keeping quiet about since September, when Lucian composed and we recorded the song.

How did this happen? It’s all about networking (or being in the right place at the right time?) – we performed at a local wedding in August and one of the guests thought we’d be perfect for a project he was doing for Sesame Street. After a few phone calls and emails we had about a week and a half to put everything together, from Lucian composing the tune, getting everyone in the same place to record it, culling enough equipment together to have a quality recording, to lots of little logistical hurdles that occur when you are contracting out your services. Needless to say, everyone in the band was really excited to be involved in something that was going to appear on Sesame Street, and, with that motivation, we pulled it off in a very short amount of time.

If you can’t tune in to the show, there may be a way to watch it online after the air date – stay tuned!

I’ve included a couple of photos from the recording session below.

The rhythm section (Aaron Tucker, Jason Foureman, Jared Wofford) with Lucian fiddling with the recording equipment
The rhythm section (Aaron Tucker, Jason Foureman, Jared Wofford) with Lucian fiddling with the recording equipment
The horn section - Keenan McKenzie, Aaron Hill, Jim Ketch, and Lucian Cobb
The horn section – Keenan McKenzie, Aaron Hill, Jim Ketch, and Lucian Cobb

After spending the weekend in the studio recording our first album, we were sort of pinching ourselves and wondering how this was all possible – and then we remembered that this is all possible because of our amazing bunch of backers on Kickstarter! This is just a small token of our thanks, the list of all the people who crowd funded this endeavor:


Triangle Swing Dance Society
Denise Crampton
Christine Sirota
Diane Upshaw
Ryan Lemar
Andy Nishida
David Goodwin
Corey Manke
JP Benitez
Sharon Ferris
Chris Clement
Joanne Foil
Wilbur Seigler
Elizabeth Tietgen
Gary Chyi
Rob Moreland
Mike Guzzo
Tiffany Christensen
Amir Rosenblatt
Kirk & Tracy Eisenbeis
Sean Stevens
Laura Boyes
Etsuyo Choi
Jan Woraratanadharm
Dan Tullis
Paul Gilbert
Sebastien Lienard
Chris “32” Davis
Scott Reid
Hope Lambert
Erica Vess
David Bradford
Kate Hedin
Dani McQueen
Silvia Palazzolo
Binaebi Akah
Adrian Fahrer
Jennifer Barnett
Shana Worel
Amanda Fletcher
Christian Alva
Dawn Stockbridge
Valerie Salstrom
Jo Anna Capp
Lian Tarhay
James Benze
Cameron Panee
Laura Hill
Michael Quisao
Argsnargle Flartblart
Paul Oeser
Gena Bell Vargas
Greg
Megan Kilen
Robert Williams
Jed Wood
Beccy Aldrich
Joseph Bopp
Kristen Churchill
Carrie Newman
Sarah Ovenall
Joanna Fujii
Rachel Hundley
Bobby Cook
Beth Grover
Matthew McGuigan
Teresa Sparks
Ethan Uslan
Tiffany
Craig Parker
Andrea Gomez
Susanna Rosen
Debbie Blair
Alan Roberson
Shana Tucker
Eric Huang
Angela Hill
Maria Shevzov
James Green
Matthew Glassman
Clark Stern
Orla Swift
Christian Bossert
Keith Moore
Lewis Shiner
Wendy Craighill
Curtis Taylor
Stany
Michael Pelz-Sherman
Chris Evan
Ken Hanson
Eric Hirsh
Karine Irene
Glenn Crytzer
Brian Tietz
Shawn Carter
Misty Landrum
Eric Meyer
Sharon Nuanes
Kristin Buxton
Joanna Lucero
Krista Haskins
John Buhrmann
Adam Hill
Kim Alexander
Serena Calderisi
Neeshia Macanowicz
Georgia Brooks

Abigail Browning
Blaine Schultz
Kevin Slater
Holly Owens
Krista Jo Tortora
Sarah Henderson
Martha S.
Anastasia
David Rehm
Erin Hillis
Michael James
Chelsea Bromstad Lee
Karen Beckman
Shannon Sheldon
James Newman
Elizabeth Huang
Maya Bernstein
Amy Dalton
Carrie Finch
Erik Meyers
Chayant Tanti
AniKle
Rosa Matusik
Tony Morris
Bob Gould
Douglas Haas
Margo Scott
John Li
Tim McMackin
Derek
Amanda Croasdell
Bill Speidel
Ben Beccari
Laurie Desch
Lodge McCammon
Ulla Wingenfelder
Caroline
Patrick Draus
Mike Damron
Nikita Ferrell
Phillip Bailey
Emy Taylor
Breanna Perry
Laura Ansley
Amanda Stock
Mary
Dave Warner
Sairin854
Jack Mitchell
Anna Bryant
David Garner
John Rowe
Wes Price
Jamie Sturdevant
John Ennis
Chad Skeeters
Jesse Miner
Arieh Cime
Chad Adams
Jami Good
Alexander Azarov
Jennifer Wyatt
Molly McGowan
Megan Jungwiwattanaporn
Joel Watson
Schub
Daniel DeMaria
Richard Badu
verbistheword
Matt Lam
Mike Skalnik
David Ziff
Phillip Hartzog
Rebecca
Chris Shields
Keaton Ramm
Aidan Dunne
Michael Baswell
Peter Bonventre
Mimi Liu
A
Hilary Mercer
Keith Beckman
Alicia
Nirav Sanghani
Michael Schmidt
Claire Cobley
Yossef Mendelssohn
virtuald
Emily
liu264
Skjargh
Teresa Attwater
Brooke
Emily Friesen
Rich Werden
Alex Richard
Emma Durham
Gabrielle Kern
Michael Van Andel
Ferdinand Stout
Michael Glasgow
Stephen Coffman
Laura Pilcher
Jane Dawson
Tom Blair
Alexandra Boyer
Aleksandr

If we have somehow missed your name, please email us at mintjulepjazzband@gmail.com and we will make it right!

We look forward to delivering these recordings to you all sometime before this May – thank you again for making our first recording endeavor a reality! Crowd funding is truly amazing!

Recording in progress:  Sound Pure Studios
Recording in progress: Sound Pure Studios

We’re ready to record! This Saturday we’ll begin recording our first CD at Sound Pure Studios, located near the old Durham Bulls ballpark in Durham, NC. The studio has recorded for the likes of Merge Records, Branford Marsalis, 9th Wonder, Clay Aiken, The Mountain Goats, Carolina Chocolate Drops, The Old Ceremony, and Nnenna Freelon, and we are happy to be in such capable hands.

Also, the studio looks amazing – from the website:

“All studio room acoustics carefully combine beautiful weathered and exposed masonry-brick from the building’s original early 1900’s shell with carefully placed rough-sawn lumber and a fabric faux ceiling. The recording rooms feature slat-wall absorption with diffusive properties, that redirect sound up to the elaborate ceiling bass trapping system creating an acoustically neutral, but very musically appealing sound. The recording facility includes a lounge and kitchen- most rooms are also wired with built-in microphone wall boxes. Even the all-masonry, untreated studio lobby featuring 750 square feet of an outrageously live “wet” sound, and the entryway with near 30ft ceilings, are both wired with microphone inputs.”

Looking forward to spending our weekend there!

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We are excited to announce that as of November 28, we have 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!

We have 41 days left to reach our funding goal of $6,000 and we already have pledges totaling around $4,000! We are over half-way with more than half of our time left to go! This has been a great start and we thank everyone who has backed our Kickstarter thus far!

If you’d like to help us reach our funding goal, pre-order a copy of our CD or back our Kickstarter in exchange for some fabulous rewards at http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/laurawindley/mint-julep-jazz-bands-first-cd-durham-on-saturday. If we don’t reach our goal, we don’t get any of the money pledged, so please consider supporting your local swing band!

We are excited to finally press the launch button on our Kickstarter campaign and see if we can raise $6,000 through crowd funding and pre-sales to make our first CD a reality. We’ve got some great rewards in exchange for your backing and support, including pre-ordering the CD, so here’s the link for our Kickstarter campaign:

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/laurawindley/mint-julep-jazz-bands-first-cd-durham-on-saturday?ref=live

We have until December 30 to reach our goal – we’d love to have you as a backer!

We’d like to thank everyone over the past year who has been so supportive of this band and encouraged us to move forward with this project. We are definitely excited about getting into the recording studio and having a CD that we can share with you!

On November 2, 2012 we are launching a Kickstarter campaign to crowd fund our first CD, titled “Durham on Saturday Night.” We are asking for pledges toward our $6,000 funding goal and, in exchange, you can get different fabulous rewards based on the amount of your pledge/contribution – some of the rewards include digital and physical copies of the CD, handkerchiefs with the band logo, drawstring backpacks/dance shoe bags with the band logo, a limited edition poster, cupcakes baked for you by vocalist Laura Windley, and hanging out in the studio with us as we record the CD!

Here is what we are posting on our Kickstarter page as information about the CD project:

“The Mint Julep Jazz Band, Durham NC’s swing, hot jazz, and little big band outfit is putting together their first CD! We are excited to finally be getting into a recording studio with this group of jazz musicians to work a little magic and have something that you can take home with you after the show or the dance!

Never heard us or heard of us? Take a minute to check out our ReverbNation page for a preview: http://www.reverbnation.com/mintjulepjazzband

One of our Kickstarter rewards is a logo drawstring bookbag, which conveniently doubles as a shoe bag for dancers.

Why Kickstarter? Think of it as pre-sales – you are essentially ordering this album in advance, with the understanding that the new Mint Julep Jazz Band recordings will be more polished than the recordings we’ve taken with Laura’s iPhone and will have the energy we have at our shows. We’re going to bottle that up for you and give it to you, you just have to buy the bottle first. We guarantee it will keep your toes tapping and swing hard enough to get you out of your seat!

What do we need all this money for? It takes a lot of money to make a CD and the money is divided amongst recording, mixing, mastering, graphic design, duplication, licensing fees, and probably some unanticipated expenses that we will encounter. It is a big undertaking for any band and we hope that you will consider contributing to our Kickstarter campaign in exchange for some of the fabulous rewards we have for you, plus our undying love and loyalty.

The CD, “Durham on Saturday Night,” will feature Lucian Cobb on trombone, Jim Ketch on trumpet, Keenan McKenzie on tenor saxophone and clarinet, Aaron Hill on alto saxophone and clarinet, Aaron Tucker on drums, Jason Foureman on bass, Jared Wofford on guitar and banjo, and Laura Windley on vocals. Our cover art will be designed by Durham artist and watercolorer to the stars, Jamie Wolcott.”

The official go live date is November 2, which we chose because we will be performing that night at the Eastern Balboa Championships, the southeast’s largest and only Balboa event. We are excited about performing for such a large audience from all over the United States and about the possibility of being able to offer a CD for sale, even if it is pre-orders!

If we are do not reach our Kickstarter goal of $6,000, the CD project will not be funded. You are only charged if the Kickstarter is fully funded. We hope you will consider pre-ordering the CD through our Kickstarter campaign to ensure that we have a CD to share with you!

Get your tickets today for the Art of Cool Project’s After Hours Concert at LabourLove Gallery on May 18, featuring the Mint Julep Jazz Band! We are excited to be a part of this concert series, which presents a rare opportunity for local professional jazz musicians and groups to perform in an intimate concert setting. We hope you will join us for this special concert!

Tickets are available for purchase through the Art of Cool Project’s website at http://theartofcoolproject.com/buy-tickets. In the past, all of these concerts have sold out, so be sure to purchase your tickets in advance of the show.