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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That New Old Sound Update

a2618128978_16In 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.

All Balboa Weekend 2017

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Photograph from ABW 2015, courtesy of @bobbykate on Instagram

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!

HobNob Jazz Series at Booth Amphitheater – May 17, 2017

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Photo from our first performance at Booth Amphitheater a few years ago, courtesy of Frank Myers of Sweet Life Studios

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
Cary, NC

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.

Video: Feel the Swing Via a Flying Camera

Our recording of “Darktown Strutter’s Ball” is featured in this video with Balboa dancers Andreas Olsson and Olga Marina, taken with a “flying camera” – the visual effect is stunning and whimsical, given the great talent of videographer Carsten Kramer and the dancers.  The video was taken at the Werkstätten Hellerau in Dresden, Germany when the dancers were in town for the Balboa Dayz event.  Enjoy!

Photographs from Lincoln Center

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.

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Rolling Sculpture Art Deco Car Exhibit – September 29, 2016

When the North Carolina Museum of Art reached out to us about performing at their Art Deco car exhibit, the response was a resounding yes – 30’s and 40’s machines of beauty plus music from the same era?  Yes, please!

We’ll be opening the Rolling Sculpture: Art Deco Cars from the 1930s and ’40s exhibit with a soiree on September 29 featuring food, cocktails, and hot jazz amongst the rolling sculptures featured in the exhibit.  Band plays from 6:45 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.  This is the first of many cool events surrounding this exhibit, check out the NCMA Rolling Sculpture exhibit webpage to see what’s in store in the coming months!

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Mint Julep Jazz Band at Lincoln Center in New York!

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We are beyond excited to announce that the Mint Julep Jazz Band will be performing at Lincoln Center in New York as a part of their Midsummer Night Swing concert series! Join us on June 24, 2016 under the stars for a night of swing music in the Big Apple!

The concert series, which runs from June 21 through July 9, 2016, features live music of the dancing variety, with a big dance floor set up in front of the Lincoln Center bandshell at Damrosch Park – artists joining us in this series include Catherine Russell, Septeto Santiaguero, the Allen Toussaint Band, and many other wonderful artists from New York and beyond!

From the Midsummer Night Swing website: “This North Carolina–based “little” big band’s goal is simple: to keep you on the dance floor. Specializing in the great swing tunes of the ’30s, the eight-piece band has been tearing through the Lindy hop competition circuit, leaving masses of new fans in its wake. Sweet and refreshing with an intoxicating kick, the band makes its highly anticipated New York debut at Midsummer Night Swing.”

For more information on the event, tickets, artists, and the dances featured in lessons before each show, visit http://midsummernightswing.org.

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The Grand Taste Experience, April 21, 2016

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We are back for a second year at the Grand Taste Experience at the Durham Armory, hosted by Taste The Event 2016, which is also hosting a series of wonderful events kicking off with the this event on April 21, 2016 and continuing through the weekend!  We’d love for you to join us, but this event is sold out!  Make plans to attend next year, this event is touted as the “culinary experience of the year” and allows you to “spend the evening with hundreds of guests savoring dishes created by 30 of the best chefs in North Carolina. Also on hand are local beverage makers, producing outstanding craft beer, soda, coffees and spirits. And we’ve rounded up our chefs’ favorite distributors to bring you wine from around the world to educate your palate.”  It is essentially the most delicious, fanciest, foodiest all you can eat buffet you’ll encounter in the Triangle!