We’ll be donning our finest emerald apparel for the Mint Julep Jazz Band show on March 17, 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 looking forward to playing the Saturday night dance of the Queen City Lindy Exchange on March 10, 2012 in Charlotte, NC! The Queen City Lindy Exchange is a weekend-long Lindy Hop event offering almost non-stop DJ’ed and live music for swing dancing, showcasing the dance community and venues in Charlotte. The Saturday night dance details:

Chantilly Hall
2101 Shenandoah Ave.
Charlotte, NC 28205

7:00 p.m. – Beginner Balboa lesson with Chris & Holly Owens

8:00 p.m. – 11:30 p.m. – Open dancing, with a Jack and Jill swing dance competition to occur during one of the band breaks

A la carte price – $25 at the door

Weekend pass – $60.00 until March 7, $65.00 at the door

For more information, visit http://www.qclx.org.

Thanks to everyone who either came out last night to hear the band at the RDU Rent Party/Hot Club of Durham swing dance or tuned in for the show via live stream on Ustream – we had a great time playing for everyone! If you missed the show and the live stream, vocalist Laura Windley managed to video a few songs from the show, which are posted below – enjoy!

“Main Stem,” performed by the Mint Julep Jazz Band at the RDU Rent Party/Hot Club of Durham swing dance, February 23, 2012, Durham, NC.

“Deed I Do,” performed by the Mint Julep Jazz Band at the RDU Rent Party/Hot Club of Durham swing dance, February 23, 2012, Durham, NC.

“Front and Center,” performed by the Mint Julep Jazz Band at the RDU Rent Party/Hot Club of Durham swing dance, February 23, 2012, Durham, NC.

“Jive at Five,” performed by the Mint Julep Jazz Band at the RDU Rent Party/Hot Club of Durham swing dance, February 23, 2012, Durham, NC.

We are excited to announce that we will be live streaming the Mint Julep Jazz Band show this Thursday, February 23, 2012, through our Ustream channel. Tune in from 9:00 p.m. to 12:00 a.m. to catch our debut performance!

It’s easy to do – simply click on this link – http://www.ustream.tv/channel/mint-julep-jazz-band – and watch the show from the comfort of your own home. We’ll be broadcasting the show via Laura’s iPhone. Technology is amazing!

This live stream of the show is the special request of our friend Elizabeth Tietgen, who has been very ill and in the ICU for the past two weeks. She is overcoming almost insurmountable odds to recover and is making great strides, but is not well enough to attend the show. She asked that we do the live stream so that she wouldn’t miss our first performance, and it was such a great idea that we thought we’d open the live stream up for everyone to see!

Elizabeth is the founder and organizer of the Triangle Tap Project, the Triangle chapter of “a nationwide campaign by the US fund for UNICEF to raise funds to provide clean water and sanitation in developing countries.” We would encourage everyone who attends the show or tunes in via Ustream to donate to this cause that is near and dear to Elizabeth’s heart. You can make a donation to the Triangle Tap Project fundraiser via the Triangle Tap Project website.

We are excited to have Russ Wilson making an appearance as our drummer at the Queen City Lindy Exchange‘s Saturday night dance on March 10, 2012! Russ Wilson is an esteemed bandleader in his own right, leading the Nouveau-Passe Orchestra, Russ Wilson and his Mighty Mighty Men, and the Russ Wilson Swingtette, and appears with many other great bands in the Asheville/Hendersonville area, like the Firecracker Jazz Band.

We love to play with Russ because he’s got some serious early jazz drumming chops and has so much experience playing for dancers – it’s going to be an amazing night of dancing in Charlotte!

The Mint Julep Jazz Band is excited to be included in the lineup for The Art of Cool Project‘s concert series at LabourLove Gallery in Durham, North Carolina. We’ll be their featured band for the May 18, 2012 concert, but until then there are a lot of things going on with this jazz advocacy non-profit that may interest you.

What is The Art of Cool Project? From their website: “The Art of Cool Project is a jazz (also music with jazz roots) and art advocacy project that strives to cross artistic, economic, and cultural boundaries to bring together a diverse mix of people and creativity. We are dedicated to promoting the local vibrant, varied, and surprisingly under-appreciated music and art scene. The project is a unique collaboration between the music and art communities to bring both creative mediums to supporters in an intimate concert setting.”

The Art of Cool Project is a creative philanthropic project spearheaded by Mint Julep Jazz Band trumpeter, Albert Strong IV, and Cicely Mitchell, Al’s amazing girlfriend, social media guru, and jazz advocacy superwoman.

A recent addition to The Art of Cool Project’s website is a jazz calendar for the Triangle, which will include all forms of jazz and displays a running calendar that you can check to see what is happening this week, next month, and beyond. The Mint Julep Jazz Band will be submitting our public concerts to this list and we would encourage other Triangle area jazz groups to utilize this resource.

What can you do to support this worthwhile non-profit? A few things:

1) Attend the December Art of Cool Project After Hours Concert at LabourLove Gallery, featuring smooth sax player Marcus Anderson.

2) Donate to the Holiday Chair Campaign – thus far, the AOC Project has had to rent 80 chairs for each of their concerts. To keep costs down, they are running a Holiday Chair Campaign to raise money to buy chairs for the concert series. A donation of $40 will fund one the chairs and get your name (or name of a loved one or business) painted on the back of the chair as well as preferred seating for the concerts with RSVP.

3) Follow the Art of Cool Project on Twitter or Facebook.

4) Check the jazz calendar regularly and support the Art of Cool Project’s concert series (every third Friday of the month at LabourLove Gallery) and other local jazz artists.

5) Come to LabourLove Gallery on May 18 to hear the Mint Julep Jazz Band!

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.