It’s been a minute since the Mint Julep Quintet had some of the spotlight – we’re grateful that people have opted to book the full size band so consistently, but it will be nice to revisit the quintet book for its swing era and trad jazz combo repertoire. Join us on June 7, 2019 at the Cary Arts Center for the 6th Annual En Plein Air Art Auction and Gala, which features the works of 27 local artists painted outdoors with an auction and live music provided by yours truly from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. The show is free to everyone, we hope you’ll support local artists with your feet and be inspired.
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.
Swing 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.
On January 30, 2016, we return to the Lone Star State capital to perform at Hot Rhythm Holiday, a weekend of workshops and dances focusing on Balboa and Collegiate Shag and there’s a music track for people who want to learn more about performing jazz! The events take place at the Texas Federation of Women’s Clubs (“the Fed”), a mansion built in 1931 with a gorgeous historic ballroom. We are excited to return to Hot Rhythm Holiday for our second year! And bring on the brisket!
If you missed our interview with Frank Stasio and Mint Julep Quintet’s live performance on WUNC’s The State of Things on Friday, December 11, 2015, you can listen to the 17 minute segment on The State of Things’ website – scroll down to the middle of the page for the audio player and press play. http://wunc.org/post/mint-julep-jazz-band-recreates-early-jazz-battle-axe#stream/0
Also, as we noted on the show, please stay tuned for a very special announcement in April, 2016!
What started out as a Mint Julep Quintet gig at G2B Gastro Pub on November 7, 2014 ended up a full-fledged Mint Julep Jazz Band for the second set – our regular tenor player Keenan McKenzie joined us from the audience and trumpet player Jason Bohde stopped by to sit in. Thanks to Keenan’s dad, Woody McKenzie, who filmed us and to Jack Mitchell for editing and uploading to YouTube! Check out “Egyptian Ella” and “Some of These Days” below:
The Mint Julep Jazz Band will kick off the weekend festivities at The Process, a Lindy Hop workshop weekend in Richmond, Virginia on Friday, July 18, 2014 at 9:00 p.m. The Process is a new event, in its first year, and seeks to answer the question, “What is the process guiding Lindy Hoppers to rapid improvement?” in its workshops throughout the weekend. With a great lineup of instructors (Casey Schneider & Mike Faltesek; Jaya Dorf & Michael Gamble; Chelsea & David Lee; Mike Herring; Abigail Browning & Adam Speen; and Sparrow Pants) and live music by The Low Down Sires, 504 Supreme, and Gypsy Roots, it looks like it will be a rumpus in Richmond! For more information visit The Process website.
We are very excited to have some updated videos of the Mint Julep Jazz Band – thanks to Ashley Warren, our videographer, who got some great footage at our performance for the Triangle Swing Dance Society’s dance at the Murphey School in Durham on February 1! Six new videos posted below:
“Rockin’ in Rhythm” performed by the Mint Julep Jazz Band at the Triangle Swing Dance Society dance, February 1, 2014.
“Betcha Nickel” performed by the Mint Julep Jazz Band at the Triangle Swing Dance Society dance, February 1, 2014.
“Undecided” performed by the Mint Julep Jazz Band at the Triangle Swing Dance Society dance, February 1, 2014.
“Sugarfoot Rag” performed by the Mint Julep Jazz Band at the Triangle Swing Dance Society dance, February 1, 2014.
“Besame Mucho” performed by the Mint Julep Jazz Band at the Triangle Swing Dance Society dance, February 1, 2014.
“Darktown Strutters Ball” (encore) performed by the Mint Julep Jazz Band at the Triangle Swing Dance Society dance, February 1, 2014.
Jazz writer and archivist Michael Steinman, author of the Jazz Lives blog, has written a great review of the Mint Julep Jazz Band’s “Durham on Saturday Night!”
“The MJJB is a small hot group — well-versed in playing for dancers, so they set swinging tempos and stick to them. Their ensemble work is beautifully precise without being stiff, and they really understand the subtle mysteries of swing rhythm…one of their main inspirations is youthful Ella Fitzgerald and the small group out of Chick Webb’s band — The Savoy Eight — and they evoke that sound perfectly without turning out pale note-for-note copies of the records. I heard evocations of Sandy Williams and Sidney Bechet, but also Al Grey and Howard McGhee.”
“Laura’s got her own sweet style with a serious rhythmic underpinning…her rich voice reminded me of young Ella — that hopeful, wistful, asking-for-love quality — but she can turn corners at a fast tempo, as she proves on the CD’s closer, the band’s romping version of Lil Armstrong’s HARLEM ON SATURDAY NIGHT.”
To read more, click here to view the post.
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!