Blog Archives

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

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October is for Firsts – North Carolina State Fair and Jammin’ on the James

17457328_10154389045838202_8816845649020388201_nWe’ve got two exciting firsts this week, first time gigs for us at great events!

October 19, 2017 – we’ll be at the North Carolina State Fair in Raleigh, NC (now in its 150th year!) as part of the fair’s Homegrown Music Fest highlighting bands from all over the state throughout the week.  We’ll be at the Kitchen Craft Waterfall Stage playing two sets, from 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.  Come grab a turkey leg and watch us perform!

October 20-21, 2017  Mint Julep Jazz Band at Jammin’ on the James, Richmond, VA – excited to be performing for the first time at this fantastic workshop weekend, now in its 15th year.  We’ll be sharing the weekend with instructors Sylvia Sykes, Skye Humphries, Naomi Uyama, and Nick Williams and with local jazz manouche outfit Gypsy Roots.  Come see us at the Friday and Saturday main dances at the Lewis Ginter Recreation Center from 8:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m.!

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Nashville Dance Congress – May 5-6, 2017

We don’t see a lot of arts grant money going to social dance events, so it’s rare and wonderful that organizers of the Nashville Dance Congress have been the beneficiaries of a grant allowing them to provide a weekend of FREE dance classes from renowned instructors and social dances to live and DJ’ed music!  Featured dance genres are Salsa, Bachata, Ballroom Cabaret, West Coast Swing, Kizomba, Tango, Zouk, Lindy Hop, Balboa, and more!  We’re excited to be invited to be a part of this inaugural event as the swing band – we’ll be performing three sets over the weekend, Friday and Saturday nights from 11:00 p.m. to 1:30 a.m., and a Saturday afternoon set from 2:15 p.m. to 3:15 p.m.

If you are staying at the Millennium Maxwell House Hotel, this event is free!  For more information or if you are not staying at the hotel, visit the Nashville Dance Congress website.

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Videos from DCLX’tra Dance at Glen Echo

On January 28, 2017 DCLX sponsored a swing dance at Glen Echo Park’s Spanish Ballroom and invited us to perform!  Here are some videos from the dance, check out this beautiful ballroom, some sweet tunes, and the jam to Business in F:

Classic City Swing – Athens, GA September 16-17, 2016

Our very first gig in Georgia will be Classic City Swing, a weekend of workshops and dances in Athens, Georgia!  We’ll be playing the Friday night and Saturday night main dances at the New Dance Theater on the University of Georgia’s campus.  Don’t worry, it’s not a home football game weekend, so you can avoid the traffic and the parking issues!  With a large lineup of instructors, this promises to be a big weekend of dancing – for more information, visit the Classic City Swing website.

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The Process in Richmond, VA -July 22, 2016

We are returning to The Process in Richmond, Virginia this year, to perform at the Friday night main dance on July 22, 2016!  This Lindy Hop workshop weekend is unique in that it focuses on “the process of learning, teaching, and performing,” but definitely offers more than just workshops – there’s a ton of live music, including MJJB, Michael Gamble and the Rhythm Serenaders, the Low Down Sires, the Resonant Rogues, and 504 Supreme.  Come swing out with us for a weekend of focused learning and amazing dancing!

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July 9, 2016 at Bearden Music Series, Charlotte, NC

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The dance floor at last year’s concert.

We are honored to be asked by Mecklenburg County Parks and Recreation to be a part of the Bearden Music Series again this year, after having a fantastic turnout at last year’s outdoor concert.  We’ll be performing a free concert on July 9, 2016 from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at Bearden Park, a lovely outdoor space admidst the tall buildings of uptown Charlotte.

Bring a lawn chair or blanket and some summer eats (or pick up dinner from one of the food trucks) and relax under the sunset and stars during the concert, or take advantage of the dance floor and a free swing dance lesson by Gottaswing Charlotte on the first band break.

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We’re hoping for the same beautiful weather we had last year!

Bearden Park
300 S. Church St.
Charlotte, NC

6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

Admission is FREE.

See you soon, Charlotte!

New Videos!

Through the magic of iPhone technology, a special gadget, and a mic stand, we’ve acquired 7 new videos from our performance at the Triangle Swing Dance Society dance at the Carrboro Century Center on March 19, 2016 – we hope you enjoy the new videos!

Triangle Swing Dance Society Dance – March 19, 2016

It’s time to do what we were born to do – play for our home crowd of swing dancers at the Triangle Swing Dance Society dance on the Triangle’s best social dance floor, the ballroom at the Carrboro Century Center on March 19, 2016.  If you don’t know how to dance, TSDS has you covered with a free beginner lesson at 7:00 p.m. before the dance.  Come swing with us!

Carrboro Century Center
100 N. Greensboro St.
Carrboro, NC
Time: Band plays from 8:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.
Admission: Members/Students $8, Non-members $12

MJJB at PSDS St. Patrick

Photo from Mint Julep Jazz Band’s performance at the Carrboro Century Center on St. Patrick’s Day 2013, courtesy of Joel Carlin.

Whistle Stop 2015 – Purdue University

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On November 13, 2015, the band will take its longest road trip to date, to West Lafayette, Indiana for Purdue University’s annual swing dance workshop weekend, Whistle Stop 2015! We’ll be performing on Friday and Saturday night at the main dances for the event on Purdue University’s campus. We’ll also have some free time on Saturday – what does one do in West Lafayette? If you have any suggestions, drop us a line!

For more information about the event (hosted and organized by Purdue Night Train, the university’s swing dance club), visit the event Facebook page, which is serving as the event website – they have a great lineup of instructors and The Fried Bananas will be dishing out the tunes for the late night dances.