The Mint Julep Jazz Band is delighted to be a finalist for Best Jazz Artist or Band in our first year of existence! Many thanks to all of our fans who voted for us. Congratulations to our tenor saxophonist, Peter Lamb, whose band Peter Lamb and the Wolves was the winner of the Best Jazz Artist or Band award! See the results of the Independent Weekly’s 2012 Best of the Triangle Reader’s Choice poll at http://www.indyweek.com/gyrobase/best-of-the-triangle-2012-readers-choice-poll-winners-and-finalists/Content?oid=3081364&storyPage=3

Photo from Mint Julep Jazz Band’s performance at the Carrboro Century Center on St. Patrick’s Day, courtesy of Joel Carlin.

We are excited to return to Carrboro for the Mint Julep Jazz Band show on June 16, 2012 at the Triangle Swing Dance Society swing dance, held at the Carrboro Century Center. Come dance on the finest sprung wood floor in the Triangle! Don’t know how to dance? No problem! There’s a beginner lesson at 7:00 p.m. that is included with the price of admission.

Carrboro Century Center
100 N. Greensboro Street
Carrboro, NC

Beginner east coast swing lesson – 7:00 p.m.

Band plays from 8:00-11:00 p.m.

Admission: Members/students $8.00, general admission $12.00

The Mint Julep Jazz Band is honored and excited to be a part of the lineup for the Art of Cool Project‘s After Hours Concert Series at LabourLove Gallery, May 18, 2012. Tickets are $10.00 in advance or $15.00 at the door – purchase advance tickets at http://theartofcoolproject.com/buy-tickets.

Doors open at 9:00, show starts at 9:30. Please arrive early or on time to get a seat, these shows usually sell out!

LabourLove Gallery
807 E Main St, Suite 2-130
Durham, NC

For more information about The Art of Cool Project and its myriad activities across the Triangle, visit http://theartofcoolproject.com/

For more information about LabourLove Gallery, visit http://labourlove.com/.

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.

On Saturday, April 28, we’ll hit the road for a gig in Greensboro at the Oriental Shrine Club, playing the evening dance as part of the Piedmont Swing Dance Society‘s spring workshops with Joel Plys and Jenna Applegarth. We’re looking forward to seeing a big crowd of dancers out for this one!

Oriental Shrine Club
5010 High Point Road
Greensboro, NC

7:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. – Free beginner lesson with admission

8:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. – Mint Julep Jazz Band plays

Admission: $8.00 for Members and Students Under 21, $10.00 for Non-Members

For more information about the Piedmont Swing Dance Society, the dance, and the workshops, please visit the PSDS website at http://www.piedmontswingdance.org/

The terms “jazz” and “swing” can conjure very different imagery and sounds, depending on who you ask. With that in mind, it can be difficult to describe the music we perform in the Mint Julep Jazz Band. When most people think of “jazz,” what usually comes to mind is smaller combos playing bebop, modern jazz, straight ahead jazz, or standards. The term “swing” tends to bring up thoughts of Glenn Miller’s recording of “In the Mood,” Benny Goodman’s recording of “Sing Sing Sing,” or even Louis Prima’s “Jump, Jive, and Wail.” While the understanding of these terms may be more of a pop culture reference to most, it’s kind of like saying all music from the 1970’s is disco, or all music from the 1980’s is new wave – the terms jazz and swing have a much broader definition, with jazz as the umbrella term and swing as a subset of jazz.

A packed Casino Ballroom at Catlina Island, CA, circa 1940, swing band in the distance, beyond the sea of people...

So where does the Mint Julep Jazz Band fit into swing and jazz?

Jazz, in its earliest form, originated in the early 20th century. In terms of a timeline, the Mint Julep Jazz Band doesn’t go all the way back to the beginning of jazz, but does pick up jazz shortly thereafter. In the 1920’s, jazz grew to prominence and began to gain mass appeal, thanks to the popularity of radio and enhancements in recording technology. The Mint Julep Jazz Band plays several arrangements of jazz tunes from this era, primarily from the late 1920’s.

Jazz continued to gain popularity into the 1930’s, and began to take on the name “swing.” Most of the music we play is from the 1930’s and early 1940’s, which was the height of the swing era. This music is still jazz and, at the time, was America’s pop music – it was the music that filled the dance halls and airwaves, it was trendy and was associated with youth culture. We believe this music was popular because it is so much fun – it’s toe-tapping music, has a great energy, and is a joy to perform.

Thus, it’s possible for us to be both a jazz band and a swing band because the terms overlap. We hope you’ll come to one of our shows and hear some of this music firsthand – even within early jazz and swing, there are different sounds and subsets to keep things interesting, and we think you’ll like what you hear!

On Saturday, March 31, the Mint Julep Jazz Band will be featured at Altar Ego, an event at the Washington Duke Inn that features a bridal fashion show, table top designs, food, music and dancing.

The Washington Duke Inn
3001 Cameron Boulevard
Durham, NC 27705

6:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.

Mint Julep Jazz Band plays from 8:30 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.

General Admission: $35.00
VIP Admission (front row seating): $75.00

For more information and to purchase tickets, see the event’s Eventbrite page.

For photographs of past Altar Ego events, visit http://www.trebellabridal.com/Fashion_Show.html.