No, seriously, they really do. John Ennis and Ruth Brown are getting married on September 8, 2012 and are opening up their wedding reception to be an open-to-the-public swing dance. For John and Ruth, there is no better way to spend their wedding weekend than surrounded by live swing music and dancing. To that end, they have planned a weekend doing just that and are inviting everyone who wishes to dance to amazing music to attend not one, but two dance events – the more the merrier!

Here’s the information from the Facebook invite:

John is a big fan of Fred Astaire and we’ll be performing at least one of his songs for the reception/dance

“Friday, September 7th, 2012
Live Band: Gypsy Roots
9:00pm – midnight
Beginner Lindy Hop lesson at 7:30

Saturday, September 8th, 2012
Live Band: The Mint Julep Jazz Band
2:00pm-5:00pm
Beginner Lindy Hop lesson at 1:00

Location:
Lewis Ginter Recreation Association
3421 Hawthorne Ave.
Richmond, VA

Admission:
General: $10 for one dance, $15 for both
Students: $7 for one dance, $10 for both

Spiffy attire encouraged for the Saturday dance (we’ll be in wedding attire)! Please wear comfortable shoes with smooth soles (please, no black rubber soles).

New to dancing? Have no fear! Ruth and John will be teaching the beginner lesson before the Friday night dance, while Erica Vess and Ryan Lemar will be teaching the beginner lesson before the Saturday afternoon dance. No dance partner required.

Erica Vess will also provide her excellent and nationally recognized DJ skills during the band breaks!

And of course, there will be cake…”

We are excited to be a part of the wedding festivities and are looking forward to dancing, cake, and performing at the historic ballroom at the Lewis Ginter Recreation Center!

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/.

The Mint Julep Jazz Band is looking forward to performing at ItalianFest at Lafayette Village in Raleigh this Saturday, May 12, 2012. We will be performing from 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. on the green in front of The Village Grill.

ItalianFest is an all day event, starting at noon, with lots of live music, Italian-themed activities and, of course, food! Come and bring your appetite for some delicious Italian food, relax with a glass of wine, and enjoy the sounds of the Mint Julep Jazz Band.

For more information about the schedule of events, visit the event Facebook invite at http://www.facebook.com/events/382478951767401/.

For more information about Lafayette Village, visit their website at http://www.lafayettevillageraleigh.com.

See you there! Ciao!

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.