World-renowned Balboa dancer Olga Marina is launching a new website this month called isolobalboa.com, which will feature more than 100 videos, demos, exercises for both for leaders and followers in the pure Balboa and Bal-Swing dance styles. We’re delighted that Olga featured the Mint Julep Jazz Band’s recording of “You Can’t Live in Harlem” in her promotional video for the website, which showcases her incredible footwork and joyous energy! Follow her Facebook page for more updates on videos and the website.
Fresh off Camp Hollywood, we’re ready for a couple of live shows on our home turf! Catch us on these two dates:
UPDATE: SEPTEMBER 12 AND 15 ARE CANCELLED DUE TO HURRICANE FLORENCE, CARY’S PARK AFTER DARK SHOW IS RESCHEDULED FOR OCTOBER 3
October 3, 2018 (rescheduled from the cancelled September 12, 2018) at The Town of Cary’s Park After Dark, Cary, NC – our first performance for the Town of Cary, we’ll send out the summer outdoor concert season in style. We’ll be performing a free concert at Cary’s Downtown Park from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., bring a picnic dinner or pick up food from one of the local vendors at the event. For more information about food, parking, and weather updates, visit https://www.townofcary.org/recreation-enjoyment/events/special-events/park-after-dark.
September 15, 2018 at Triangle Swing Dance Society dance, Carrboro, NC – always happy to be playing on for dancers on the best dance floor in the Triangle, at the Carrboro Century Center. Free beginner swing dance lesson at 7:00 p.m., we play from 8:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. For more information, visit the TSDS website at www.triangleswingdance.org.
West coast friends and beyond, please join us Labor Day weekend 2018 at Camp Hollywood in Los Angeles for our west coast debut! We’ll be performing at the Friday evening dance (August 31) at Camp Hollywood at the LAX Marriott from 9:00 p.m. to midnight and the theme for the night is a tribute to the classic Hollywood film Cabaret, so come in your 1920’s/cabaret/chorus girl/emcee/Bob Fosse finest. Camp Hollywood is one of the largest and longest-running swing dance camps/competition weekends in the United States and it’s an honor for us to be invited to perform! For more information and to register, visit the Camp Hollywood website.
One of the signature tracks from our first album Durham on Saturday Night is the song One Girl and Two Boys, a classic tune performed originally by NC native Kay Kyser’s orchestra in the 1944 film Swing Fever. We love songs that tell a story, and so do dancers – it’s fun to see how people will put their own spin on this tale of a love triangle, so here are a few interpretations through dance choreography using MJJB’s recording of this song:
One of our favorite chorus girl troupes, New York City’s The Bathtub Ginnys:
A “Dance Wars Spectacular” with dancers Lisa Pearson, Dave Saylors, and Craig Johnston in the signature roles:
And, finally, the winner of the 2013 Jazz Dance Film Fest (and unofficially our first music video), spearheaded by and starring Seattle dancer Jennifer Lee:
The UK-based music and ear-training website Music U interviewed our reed man Keenan McKenzie about his musical origins, his work in the swing dance community, and his new album of original swing music, Forged in Rhythm – check it out and learn a bit more about the man behind the tenor saxophone in the Mint Julep Jazz Band…
Back in October we performed at the Duck Jazz Festival, a fantastic two day jazz festival on the outer banks of North Carolina, and they’ve put together a highlight reel from the festival, including the Mint Julep Jazz Band’s performance at the swing dance lesson taught by Laura Windley and Keenan McKenzie – check it out and make plans to attend this wonderful festival by the sea.
May kicks off the season for outdoor concert series and we’ll be joining the ranks of bands braving the elements to bring you tunes in (hopefully) sunny and pleasant weather! On May 16, 2018 we return to Booth Amphitheater’s Hob Nob Jazz Series for a performance on the back deck from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. – admission is $5 (free for kids 12 and under) and you can either bring a picnic or buy wine and refreshments at the amphitheater. There’s always plenty of room at the amphitheater, both on the deck and in the grass, and the deck is good for dancing!
On May 20, 2018, we’ll be performing as part of the Got to be NC Festival at the North Carolina State Fairgrounds – find us on the stage outside of Dorton Arena playing two sets from 4:15 p.m. to 5:45 p.m. Best of all, admission to the festival is free!
We performed the music for the finals of the Collegiate Shag Strictly and the Balboa Strictly at Hot Rhythm Holiday 2018, check out these amazing dancers and dig those tunes!
Austin, Texas has an amazing swing dance community and plays host to an entire weekend of Balboa and Collegiate Shag at their annual event Hot Rhythm Holiday – we’re excited to be performing for TWO nights of live music, February 16 and 17, 2018! We’ll be at the main dances each night from 8:15 p.m. to midnight. Be prepared for a bunch of new tunes, maybe some special guests, it’s going to be a swell time. 😉 For more information, visit the HRH website and we’ll see you soon, Austin!
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!”