If 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!
Artwork and design by Ryan Calloway Art
Available December 5th on Bandcamp, CD Baby, iTunes, Amazon and more!”
We’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.!
The Duck Jazz Festival is a special and unique event in North Carolina and we were excited to perform as part of the festival in 2015 – coastal North Carolina is not known for its bustling music scene (Laura writing here, as a native of Beaufort, can attest to this firsthand), so that the coastal town of Duck, along with sponsors such as the North Carolina Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts, puts their efforts into a well-curated, day-long jazz festival that is free and open to the public on a beautiful beach-side town commons is a feat, a wonder, and a blissful experience for those coastal natives who may not make it to larger metro areas very often to catch the latest in jazz performances.
This year the festival has expanded to include two days of music – the traditional day-long festival on Sunday and they have added a Saturday afternoon set on the town commons featuring the Mint Julep Jazz Band. We hope you will join us for this free show from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. with a swing dance lesson between sets taught by Laura and Keenan. Then, stay for Sunday’s concerts, with performances from Davina and the Vagabonds, the Marquis Hill Blacktet, the Rad Trads, the Robert Jospe Express Trio, the Second Marine Aircraft Wing Jazz Ensemble, and the First Flight High School Jazz Band.
To be asked back to perform at this festival is an honor and a joy – the jazz fans at this festival are gracious and responsive, the best audience an artist could ask for. See you soon, Duck!
Excited to be returning to Richmond, VA this weekend for I Heart Bal, a wonderful Balboa workshop weekend with this year’s slogan of “Don’t Stop BALievin'” and world-class Balboa instruction from Kelly Arsenault and Mickey Fortanasce, Chelsea Lee and David Lee, and Annabel Quisao and Michael Quisao. If you love swing music, unicorns, and awesome people, this is probably the event for you. See you soon, lovelies!
In December of 2016 we announced that a Mint Julep Jazz Band song would be a part of a compilation album called That New Old Sound, organized by our friend and bandleader Glenn Crytzer, where 100% of the proceeds would go to the American Civil Liberties Union. As of this July 4, 2017, the album has raised over $6,000 for the ACLU! If you haven’t already, pick up a copy of this great album, with 17 tracks from musicians all over the United States playing traditional jazz and swing music, and celebrate your right to listen and our right to perform this wonderful music.
On June 10, 2017 we’ll perform for our fourth year in a row at All Balboa Weekend! It is always an honor to be invited to perform at this long-running Balboa event that is home to what is essentially the world championships of Balboa. Our friends Michael Gamble and the Rhythm Serenaders are performing on Friday night and we’ll be the Saturday night band. We’ve also got a special surprise for you with guest vocalist Nick Williams, so don’t miss a moment of the live music at ABW!
We are excited to be returning for a third year to Booth Amphitheater’s Hob Nob Jazz Series! This is a family-friendly event at a beautiful outdoor venue, with ample space for a picnic on the grass, chairs on the deck for lounging, food and beverage vendors, and lots of room to dance. Join us on May 17, 2017 for an evening of swing era tunes, sponsored by HobNob Wines!
Koka Booth Amphitheater
8003 Regency Parkway
5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Admission: Only $5.00 for adults and kids 12 and under get in free – visit the Booth Amphitheater website to purchase tickets in advance.
We’re excited to share with you the wonderful photographs New York photographer, dancer, DJ, and podcast host Ryan Swift took of the Mint Julep Jazz Band performing at Lincoln Center’s Midsummer Night Swing! He was limited to the press area and public areas in terms of where he could take photographs and we think he did an amazing job, even with these limitations. Here are a few of our favorites below and you can see the entire set on his Flickr page.
Two years ago we closed out the dance tent for our debut performance at Shakori Hills Grassroots Festival of Music and Dance, and we excited that they’ve invited us back to open the dance tent this Thursday, October 6, 2016! We’ll be playing an hour and a half-long set from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. to kick off the festival’s official wooden dance floor. Come shake it with us and enjoy the wonderful fall weather!