Blog Archives

Camp Hollywood 2018

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.

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One Girl and Two Boys

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:

May Outdoor Shows

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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!

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Keenan McKenzie Releases Album of Original Swing Music

23659509_10103419847799641_1131617545580786145_nIf 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!

Keenan McKenzie……………reeds
Gordon Au…………………..trumpet
Lucian Cobb……………..trombone
Jonathan Stout……………….guitar
Chris Dawson………………….piano
Seth Ford-Young………………bass
Josh Collazo………………….drums
Laura Windley………………..vocals
Miles Senzaki……………..engineer

Artwork and design by Ryan Calloway Art

Available December 5th on Bandcamp, CD Baby, iTunes, Amazon and more!”

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Photograph by Brad Nathanson Photography

Duck Jazz Festival – October 7, 2017

-1The Duck Jazz Festival is a special and unique event in North Carolina and we were excited to perform as part of the festival in 2015 – coastal North Carolina is not known for its bustling music scene (Laura writing here, as a native of Beaufort, can attest to this firsthand), so that the coastal town of Duck, along with sponsors such as the North Carolina Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts, puts their efforts into a well-curated, day-long jazz festival that is free and open to the public on a beautiful beach-side town commons is a feat, a wonder, and a blissful experience for those coastal natives who may not make it to larger metro areas very often to catch the latest in jazz performances.

This year the festival has expanded to include two days of music – the traditional day-long festival on Sunday and they have added a Saturday afternoon set on the town commons featuring the Mint Julep Jazz Band.  We hope you will join us for this free show from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. with a swing dance lesson between sets taught by Laura and Keenan.   Then, stay for Sunday’s concerts, with performances from Davina and the Vagabonds, the Marquis Hill Blacktet, the Rad Trads, the Robert Jospe Express Trio, the Second Marine Aircraft Wing Jazz Ensemble, and the First Flight High School Jazz Band.

To be asked back to perform at this festival is an honor and a joy – the jazz fans at this festival are gracious and responsive, the best audience an artist could ask for.  See you soon, Duck!

All Balboa Weekend 2017

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Photograph from ABW 2015, courtesy of @bobbykate on Instagram

On June 10, 2017 we’ll perform for our fourth year in a row at All Balboa Weekend!  It is always an honor to be invited to perform at this long-running Balboa event that is home to what is essentially the world championships of Balboa.  Our friends Michael Gamble and the Rhythm Serenaders are performing on Friday night and we’ll be the Saturday night band.  We’ve also got a special surprise for you with guest vocalist Nick Williams, so don’t miss a moment of the live music at ABW!

Photographs from Lincoln Center

We’re excited to share with you the wonderful photographs New York photographer, dancer, DJ, and podcast host Ryan Swift took of the Mint Julep Jazz Band performing at Lincoln Center’s Midsummer Night Swing!  He was limited to the press area and public areas in terms of where he could take photographs and we think he did an amazing job, even with these limitations.  Here are a few of our favorites below and you can see the entire set on his Flickr page.

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Festifall Arts Festival – October 2, 2016

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On Sunday, October 2, the Mint Julep Jazz Band will be performing on the main stage at Chapel Hill’s Festifall Arts Festival! Come dance, check out all the great vendors, artists, bands, and food trucks, and enjoy the fall weather with us. The festival is free and the band plays a set on the main stage (near the Franklin Hotel) from 1:55 p.m. to 2:55 p.m.

For more information visit the Festifall website: http://www.chapelhillfestifall.com/

Rolling Sculpture Art Deco Car Exhibit – September 29, 2016

When the North Carolina Museum of Art reached out to us about performing at their Art Deco car exhibit, the response was a resounding yes – 30’s and 40’s machines of beauty plus music from the same era?  Yes, please!

We’ll be opening the Rolling Sculpture: Art Deco Cars from the 1930s and ’40s exhibit with a soiree on September 29 featuring food, cocktails, and hot jazz amongst the rolling sculptures featured in the exhibit.  Band plays from 6:45 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.  This is the first of many cool events surrounding this exhibit, check out the NCMA Rolling Sculpture exhibit webpage to see what’s in store in the coming months!

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I Heart Balboa – September 3, 2016

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Graphics we can only assume were created by the event mastermind, Erica Vess

If you like your Balboa events peppered with cats with laser beam eyes, dinosaurs, world-class instruction, and lots of foodie restaurants, join us for a fun, nerdy weekend of Balboa dancing and instruction at I Heart Balboa in Richmond, Virginia.  The event runs September 2-4, 2016 and we’ll be performing at the Saturday night dance on September 3, 2016 – we are excited to be back to perform for their second year!

Dogtown Dance Theater
109 West 15th St
Richmond, VA

Time: 8:30 p.m. to midnight

Admission: For more information, visit the I Heart Balboa website.

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Photo by Kadie Pangburn.