On Friday, December 11, 2015, tune into WUNC from noon to 1:00 p.m., we’ll be appearing on The State of Things, hosted by Frank Stasio! Frank will interview bandleaders Laura Windley and Lucian Cobb, and the Mint Julep Quintet will play a few tunes – we’ll be talking about our performances and travels from the past year and the release of our new album, Battle Axe!
As we approach the halfway mark on the Mint Julep Jazz Band album Kickstarter, we are excited that people continue to come forward to back us and to donate rewards to the Kickstarter campaign! Here are some stats, facts, and love from the past three weeks:
– As of 2/5/15 we are 65% funded with 278 backers and a total of $7,834 pledged!
– Laura’s mom donated 7 more kittens-talking-on-yellow-telephones aprons – if you’d like one, you can either pledge or upgrade your pledge, there are 2 left!
– Kim Clark of Time Machine Vintage, who makes a lot of the outfits vocalist Laura Windley wears on stage, donated a custom reproduction garment from any era, made to the backer’s specifications and measurements, inclusive of labor and materials. We are so grateful for this generous donation and it’s already been snapped up!
If you are wondering how you can help, the easiest way to get the word out is to invite your friends to our Facebook event for the Kickstarter – Facebook automatically blocks posts that appear to be related to Kickstarter because they want you to pay for advertising, but the invite is a way to reach people directly (note: we are both paying Facebook for ads, while simultaneously circumventing them to reach even more people). Thanks so much for everyone’s help thus far, your backing us and all the “likes” on Facebook really do add up!
On January 26, 2015, Mint Julep Jazz Band members Lucian Cobb and Laura Windley will be interviewed on A Kind Voice on Music, a radio show hosted by Tyler Wolf on A Kind Voice Radio, an internet radio station that focuses on “having conversations with an eclectic group of people which include musicians, sports figures, authors, business people, film makers, philosophers and everyday heros. The common thread is they all use their kind voice to make our world a kinder, more connected place, one act at a time.”
If you missed the interview with Laura Windley and Lucian Cobb on WXDU from May 19, 2013, talking with Divaville Lounge host Sarah Ovenall about the band, the making of “Durham on Saturday Night,” and background on tracks from the album, you can listen to the hour-long broadcast (interview and tracks from the album) by clicking here. Enjoy!
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.
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!