Blog Archives

Events at Common 414

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We are excited to announce that we will be working with Common 414, a new 1920’s themed cocktail bar that has opened in Raleigh, NC – three upcoming events of note!

1) Friday, November 14, 2014, the Mint Julep Quintet will play from 8-11p.m. and at 10:00 p.m. we’ll be hosting and playing live music for a Charleston contest! Come show off your gams and your hot jazz moves – the winner of the Charleston contest gets a Mint Julep Jazz Band prize pack (CD, shoe bag, button) and a VIP Booth Package for Common 414 (a $250 value).

2) and 3) On two Sundays in January (11th and 25th), 2015 we begin what we hope will be a regular gig for the Mint Julep Jazz Band, so you can hear all this great music from the 1920’s, 30’s and 40’s performed by our little big band twice a month! We say we hope because continuation of this event depends on you voting to keep MJJB here with your feet and your wonderful presence. Band plays from 7-10 p.m., $5 cover because there are a lot of people in the band!

Thanks so much to Common 414 for giving us this opportunity, it’s rare to see bands this large with regular gigs and we’ll do our best to keep this one – swing out, Raleigh!

Our State Magazine – Music in the Library

We are featured in the August issue of Our State for our Music in the Library recordings!

We are featured in the August issue for our Music in the Library recordings!

The Mint Julep Jazz Band is excited to be invited to provide music for Our State Magazine‘s Music in the Library video series, which shares and highlights songs from North Carolina musical artists filmed at Our State Magazine’s headquarters in Greensboro, North Carolina. We filled up their cozy library space with eight musicians, swing, and hot jazz on a hot June afternoon and the results came out great, using just three microphones and three cameras.

We are also featured in the magazine’s August issue – pick one up from your local North Carolina newsstand!

The band recorded “Swingtime in Honolulu,” “Rock it for Me,” and our original tune (composed by alto/clarinet/soprano sax mad man, Keenan McKenzie) “Miami Boulevard” – visit the Our State YouTube channel for all the videos from this series!

Streets at Southpoint Music on Main Concert Series, June 8, 2013

An aerial view of Cinema Circle at The Streets at Southpoint.

An aerial view of Cinema Circle at The Streets at Southpoint.

We are excited to be performing at the Music on Main Concert Series at The Streets at Southpoint on June 8, 2013. This free concert series is open to the public and occurs in the large open space with the fountain in front of Southpoint Cinemas.

Cinema Circle, in front of AMC Southpoint 17
8030 Renaissance Parkway
Durham, NC

6:00 p.m. to 8:45 p.m.

We’ll see you there!

***RAIN PLAN*** If it rains, the show will move from the outdoor stage to inside the mall.

Audio: Interview from WXDU’s Divaville Lounge

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If you missed the interview with Laura Windley and Lucian Cobb on WXDU from May 19, 2013, talking with Divaville Lounge host Sarah Ovenall about the band, the making of “Durham on Saturday Night,” and background on tracks from the album, you can listen to the hour-long broadcast (interview and tracks from the album) by clicking here. Enjoy!

CD Release Party May 8!

MJJB DOSN CD Cover

We are beyond excited about having our album, “Durham on Saturday Night,” ready for you to listen to and enjoy!

We hope that you will join us at G2B Gastro Pub on Wednesday, May 8, 2013 for our CD release party from 8:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. – we’ll be playing a mix of tracks from the CD and classic swing music, and the band will take the stage at 9:30 p.m. for an hour-long set. If you’d like to eat dinner, they are recommending that you make a reservation; if you’d just like to snack, drink, or hang out, come as you are!

We’ll have plenty of CDs on hand for sale and we’ll also have our Kickstarter rewards available if you designated local pickup.

If you can’t make it to the CD release party, never fear! We should have the album available on iTunes and CD Baby for digital download by May 8 and will have distribution of physical copies of the CD through CD Baby sometime in the near future. You will also be able to pick up the CD at any of our upcoming shows.

For our Kickstarter supporters who are out of town and opted for mailing your rewards, we will begin shipping the CD as soon as we have it in hand, but it may take a few weeks to get all the rewards where they need to go.

Thanks again to all of our supporters, Kickstarter backers, Jamie Wolcott for her amazing cover art, Jason Richmond for both the recording and the mastering, and our maestro Lucian Cobb for the mix. We hope you love it!

Video: Sesame Street Segment Featuring the Mint Julep Jazz Band

The kids from Sesame Street making a paper sculpture in the video.

The kids from Sesame Street making a paper sculpture in the video.

We are so excited to have been involved in this project with Sesame Street – here is the segment of the show where we provided the background music. The word of the day is “scuplture.” 🙂 Click on the link below to watch!

http://www.sesamestreet.org/videos#media/video_80fddfc4-8358-4e68-a134-5297017750ba

April 18 – Tune In to Sesame Street to Hear the Mint Julep Jazz Band

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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.

Videos from the 2013 Queen City Lindy Exchange

We had a great time this past weekend performing at the 2013 Queen City Lindy Exchange! Here are a few videos we got from the show:

RDU Rent Party: Back to the Future Edition featuring the Mint Julep Jazz Band, January 10, 2013

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We are looking forward to this special performance for RDU Rent Party on January 10, 2013 – we’re not exactly going back to the future, but we will give you a full preview of all the songs we are recording for our album in the second set! Polish up your dance shoes and come swing out to the tunes that will make up “Durham on Saturday Night.”

Triangle Dance Studio, back studio
2603 S. Miami Blvd.
Durham, NC
Band plays 9:00 p.m. to 12:00 a.m.
Admission: Pay what you can with a $10.00 suggested donation

Jazz, Swing, and the Mint Julep Jazz Band

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!