The Edward C. Smith Civic Center, a wonderful theater in Lexington, NC built in 1948, is hosting the Mint Julep Jazz Band for a rare theater concert on April 30, 2016. We’ll have a special program for this evening and we hope you will join us for a night of swing music, past and present! For more information, visit the theater website at http://www.smithciviccenter.org/ and get your tickets in advance by calling the theater box office at 336.249.7875. $20 for adults and $15 for students, and the theater is also offering a group rate for groups of 6 or more.
There will be a dance floor in the theater for those who might like to dance during the performance and there will also be a bunch of plush theater seats, if that’s your bag. And how about that stage? Fit for an MGM musical – see you soon!
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!
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.