On June 7, 2014 the City of Raleigh Museum is featuring the Mint Julep Jazz Band at an event honoring Raleigh’s World War II veterans, with the launch of an exhibit called “Our War: Voices of Raleigh’s World War 2 Veterans” and and a 1940’s themed fundraiser event. The event, which coincides with the 70th Anniversary of D-Day on June 6, will highlight the new exhibit and feature swing dancing, European and Pacific theater-themed food and drinks, live and silent auctions, and costumed cigarette girls. Time Warp 2014 tickets are $60 for museum members and $70 for non-members (which include a museum membership — a $35 value).
Time: 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.
Location: City of Raleigh Museum, 220 Fayetteville Street, Raleigh, NC
Tickets: To purchase tickets, visit the event’s Eventbrite page
Our vocalist, Laura Windley, will be wearing the uniform of World War II Army Nurse Corps First Lieutenant Martha Way, who served in the 97th Evacuation Hospital Unit with her husband, Dr. John Way. First Lieutenant Way’s unit landed in Normandy, France just 11 days after D-Day and joined the field hospital there to provide care to wounded soldiers. Her unit then went on to sites in Belgium and Germany, directly supporting First US Army troops fighting in the Ardennes (Battle of the Bulge) and was one of the first units to assist the survivors of the Nazi concentration camps. The 97th Evacuation Hospital Unit served thousands of wounded soldiers and displaced persons until the unit was inactivated on November 23, 1945. Martha Way returned to Beaufort, North Carolina with her husband following the war. Laura is friends with the Way family and thanks to the family for allowing her to wear Martha Way’s uniform on this special occasion.
Starting a new band raises a lot of questions – in conversations with people, these questions have come up most frequently, so here’s a little FAQ to get you more acquainted with the Mint Julep Jazz Band:
What kind of music will you play?
We will focus on music from the 1920’s and 1930’s, but some early 1940’s tunes may creep into the mix. The band will be playing arrangements that are either transcribed from original recordings or reproductions of original recordings (or a combination of both – sometimes having a hi-fi reference helps a lot) and arrangements that our maestro Lucian Cobb creates on his own, based on songs from this era. We will be playing a few arrangements Lucian has done in the past and songs you may have heard vocalist Laura Windley perform, but the majority of the material will be new. Most importantly, this music will swing!
How many people will be in the band?
Right now, we really like the idea of having either a 7 or 8 piece band, giving us either a 3 or 4 piece rhythm section with 3 horns, plus a vocalist. With this format, we are able to play arrangements of big band or smaller group charts, giving us a fuller sound than a jazz combo. We are also able to offer a more affordable alternative to a big band.
Will you have a smaller group?
Unfortunately, we will not have a smaller group. We understand that this limits the venues we can play, especially locally, but we are more interested in creating a specific sound.
Who is going to be in the band?
We’d like to have a set lineup, but in the jazz world this is not always possible – some of our band members have bands of their own, so we are fortunate enough to have other jazz musicians that we have worked with in the past to fill their shoes. You can be sure you will see Peter Lamb (sax), Al Strong (trumpet), Aaron Tucker (drums), Jason Foureman (bass), Aaron Hill (sax), Rich Willey (trumpet), Kyle Santos (trumpet), Mark Wells (piano), and other great jazz musicians from the Triangle and beyond who we enjoy performing with and will lend their unique talents to this endeavor.
When will you be ready to play?
The goal is to be ready in March and, indeed, we’ve already got gigs in March 2012 and beyond! For more details, see our calendar page. We do have a show on February 23 for RDU Rent Party – we invite everyone to come to this sneak preview!
Where will you play?
Our bread and butter will be swing dances, and we’ve already got a wedding on the books. We are also available for community events, outdoor festivals, jazz societies, schools, private parties, charity events/fundraisers, historic and reenactment-related events, and, really, anywhere that people enjoy music. We are looking to travel outside of the Triangle area of North Carolina and would welcome gig opportunities in other cities.