Blog Archives

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.

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The Art of Cool Project

The Mint Julep Jazz Band is excited to be included in the lineup for The Art of Cool Project‘s concert series at LabourLove Gallery in Durham, North Carolina. We’ll be their featured band for the May 18, 2012 concert, but until then there are a lot of things going on with this jazz advocacy non-profit that may interest you.

What is The Art of Cool Project? From their website: “The Art of Cool Project is a jazz (also music with jazz roots) and art advocacy project that strives to cross artistic, economic, and cultural boundaries to bring together a diverse mix of people and creativity. We are dedicated to promoting the local vibrant, varied, and surprisingly under-appreciated music and art scene. The project is a unique collaboration between the music and art communities to bring both creative mediums to supporters in an intimate concert setting.”

The Art of Cool Project is a creative philanthropic project spearheaded by Mint Julep Jazz Band trumpeter, Albert Strong IV, and Cicely Mitchell, Al’s amazing girlfriend, social media guru, and jazz advocacy superwoman.

A recent addition to The Art of Cool Project’s website is a jazz calendar for the Triangle, which will include all forms of jazz and displays a running calendar that you can check to see what is happening this week, next month, and beyond. The Mint Julep Jazz Band will be submitting our public concerts to this list and we would encourage other Triangle area jazz groups to utilize this resource.

What can you do to support this worthwhile non-profit? A few things:

1) Attend the December Art of Cool Project After Hours Concert at LabourLove Gallery, featuring smooth sax player Marcus Anderson.

2) Donate to the Holiday Chair Campaign – thus far, the AOC Project has had to rent 80 chairs for each of their concerts. To keep costs down, they are running a Holiday Chair Campaign to raise money to buy chairs for the concert series. A donation of $40 will fund one the chairs and get your name (or name of a loved one or business) painted on the back of the chair as well as preferred seating for the concerts with RSVP.

3) Follow the Art of Cool Project on Twitter or Facebook.

4) Check the jazz calendar regularly and support the Art of Cool Project’s concert series (every third Friday of the month at LabourLove Gallery) and other local jazz artists.

5) Come to LabourLove Gallery on May 18 to hear the Mint Julep Jazz Band!

FAQ About the Mint Julep Jazz Band

Starting a new band raises a lot of questions – in conversations with people, these questions have come up most frequently, so here’s a little FAQ to get you more acquainted with the Mint Julep Jazz Band:

What kind of music will you play?

We will focus on music from the 1920’s and 1930’s, but some early 1940’s tunes may creep into the mix. The band will be playing arrangements that are either transcribed from original recordings or reproductions of original recordings (or a combination of both – sometimes having a hi-fi reference helps a lot) and arrangements that our maestro Lucian Cobb creates on his own, based on songs from this era. We will be playing a few arrangements Lucian has done in the past and songs you may have heard vocalist Laura Windley perform, but the majority of the material will be new. Most importantly, this music will swing!

How many people will be in the band?

Right now, we really like the idea of having either a 7 or 8 piece band, giving us either a 3 or 4 piece rhythm section with 3 horns, plus a vocalist. With this format, we are able to play arrangements of big band or smaller group charts, giving us a fuller sound than a jazz combo. We are also able to offer a more affordable alternative to a big band.

Will you have a smaller group?

Unfortunately, we will not have a smaller group. We understand that this limits the venues we can play, especially locally, but we are more interested in creating a specific sound.

Who is going to be in the band?

We’d like to have a set lineup, but in the jazz world this is not always possible – some of our band members have bands of their own, so we are fortunate enough to have other jazz musicians that we have worked with in the past to fill their shoes. You can be sure you will see Peter Lamb (sax), Al Strong (trumpet), Aaron Tucker (drums), Jason Foureman (bass), Aaron Hill (sax), Rich Willey (trumpet), Kyle Santos (trumpet), Mark Wells (piano), and other great jazz musicians from the Triangle and beyond who we enjoy performing with and will lend their unique talents to this endeavor.

When will you be ready to play?

The goal is to be ready in March and, indeed, we’ve already got gigs in March 2012 and beyond! For more details, see our calendar page. We do have a show on February 23 for RDU Rent Party – we invite everyone to come to this sneak preview!

Where will you play?

Our bread and butter will be swing dances, and we’ve already got a wedding on the books. We are also available for community events, outdoor festivals, jazz societies, schools, private parties, charity events/fundraisers, historic and reenactment-related events, and, really, anywhere that people enjoy music. We are looking to travel outside of the Triangle area of North Carolina and would welcome gig opportunities in other cities.

Your Suggestions Are Welcome

We have a unique opportunity in starting a new band that has members who have played together for years in other bands and share a love of early jazz and swing – we aren’t starting from scratch, per se, but there is a certain amount of re-tooling involved when you’ve only been in official existence for a few weeks. One of the things we are working on is creating a book with some of Lucian’s old arrangements for a 7 piece band, but mostly new arrangements. We have lots of ideas for songs, but to create a comprehensive song book we want to include songs that our fans and friends love, as well.

The most demanding gig we will probably play is a swing dance, which we figured out would necessitate at least 45 songs. We’ve got 45 songs in mind, but perhaps you have a better idea, or one that we can add to the book at a later time – because, really, the book will never be finished, it will be something that we add to as long as we are playing. If you have an idea for a song you’d like to hear from a live band, let us know – it happens a lot with 1920’s and 1930’s music that you may not have heard a song other than in a recording. Feel free to post your suggestions here or email us at mintjulepjazzband@gmail.com.

We are enjoying bringing this music to life and look forward to showing you what we’ve got in March!