Blog Archives

Duck Jazz Festival – October 7, 2017

-1The 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!

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I Heart Bal – September 2, 2017

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!

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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.

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.

Nashville Dance Congress – May 5-6, 2017

We don’t see a lot of arts grant money going to social dance events, so it’s rare and wonderful that organizers of the Nashville Dance Congress have been the beneficiaries of a grant allowing them to provide a weekend of FREE dance classes from renowned instructors and social dances to live and DJ’ed music!  Featured dance genres are Salsa, Bachata, Ballroom Cabaret, West Coast Swing, Kizomba, Tango, Zouk, Lindy Hop, Balboa, and more!  We’re excited to be invited to be a part of this inaugural event as the swing band – we’ll be performing three sets over the weekend, Friday and Saturday nights from 11:00 p.m. to 1:30 a.m., and a Saturday afternoon set from 2:15 p.m. to 3:15 p.m.

If you are staying at the Millennium Maxwell House Hotel, this event is free!  For more information or if you are not staying at the hotel, visit the Nashville Dance Congress website.

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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!

That New Old Sound – A Compilation Album to Benefit the ACLU

a2618128978_16Swing bandleader Glenn Crytzer wanted to do something to make a difference, so he had this idea of a compilation album of modern day swing and traditional jazz bands coming together to contribute music to benefit the American Civil Liberties Union.  After reaching out to 16 bands (including the Mint Julep Jazz Band!), fundraising, organizing the production of this album, and getting the blessing of the ACLU, the album is ready for purchase!  Pick up a copy of That New Old Sound on Bandcamp, either digital or physical, and if you order by December 17, he’ll ship it to you in time for Christmas – an extra $2.00 and he’ll even gift wrap it for you.  All the proceeds from the sale of this album go to the ACLU to support the defense and preservation of civil liberties

Who’s on this album?  Lots of swing and early jazz goodness from all over the United States, including, of course, Glenn Crytzer (New York), Tuba Skinny (New Orleans), Greg Ruby and the Rhythm Runners (Seattle), Dandy Wellington and his Band (New York), the Boilermaker Jazz Band (Pittsburgh), Jonathan Stout and his Campus Five (Los Angeles), Dan Levinson and his Canary Cottage Dance Orchestra (New York), Gordon Webster (New York), Mint Julep Jazz Band (Durham, NC), Mona’s Hot Four (New York), Solomon Douglas (Seattle/New York/a boat somewhere off the coast of Australia), the Grand Street Stompers (New York), Jonathan Doyle Swingtet (Austin/Chicago), Meschiya Lake and the Little Big Horns (New Orleans), George Gee Swing Orchestra (New York), and Baby Soda (New York).

We are excited to be a part of this compilation album, a great gift idea for any jazz lover or to give someone as a sampler of what’s going on with early jazz today, and to do a small part to contribute to the greater good.

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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Shakori Hills Grassroots Festival of Music and Dance – October 6, 2016

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!

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Festifall Arts Festival – October 2, 2016

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On Sunday, October 2, the Mint Julep Jazz Band will be performing on the main stage at Chapel Hill’s Festifall Arts Festival! Come dance, check out all the great vendors, artists, bands, and food trucks, and enjoy the fall weather with us. The festival is free and the band plays a set on the main stage (near the Franklin Hotel) from 1:55 p.m. to 2:55 p.m.

For more information visit the Festifall website: http://www.chapelhillfestifall.com/