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Lindy on the Rocks and Vintage Jazz Festival, August 5-7

by Gloria Shanstrom
July 13, 2016
Denver, CO
Community-Minded Dance Kicks off the 12th Annual Lindy on the Rocks and the 3rd Annual Denver Vintage Jazz Festival August 5, 6 & 7

Classes, performances and live music with internationally acclaimed dancers and musicians.

From August 5 through August 7 Community Minded Dance celebrates two American art forms. The 3rd annual Denver Vintage Jazz Festival runs in conjunction with the 12th annual Lindy on the Rocks. This event brings the best swing dance instructors in the world together with the top names in vintage jazz today. There will be opportunities to see and hear live hot jazz and swing music, watch performances and competitions, take workshops to learn (or improve your) swing dance along with music workshops and more.

Three nights of live music with the country's hottest jazz and swing bands will be hosted in Denver at the City Hall Events Center, 1144 Broadway, Denver, CO 80203.

This year the Jonathan Doyle Swingtet performs on Friday evening from 9 p.m. to Midnight. Jonathan has played with Chicago’s emerging improvisers such as Josh Berman, Jason Adasiewicz, and Design Flaw and developed an interest in country blues and jug band music with the Wabash Jug Band. He spent time freelancing in Central Texas’ vibrant traditional jazz, swing, and western swing scene, getting to play with well established acts such as Willie Nelson and Asleep at the Wheel and Jim Cullum Jazz Band as well being a part of many fine local bands.

Denver's Joe Smith Orchestra featuring the Denver Jazz Club Youth All-Stars performs on Saturday evening from 9 p.m. to Midnight. Currently Joe is the bandleader for two bands in the Denver area: Joe Smith & The Spicy Pickles, and Joe Smith & The Mile High Club. The Spicy Pickles is a nationally touring six piece band that is spreading their love for vintage jazz and pushing to bring this American art form to a new generation of listeners. They are best known for their musical relationship with swing dancers, especially those in the lindy hop and balboa community. The Mile High Club is a quartet that performs in the Denver area playing a mix of traditional New Orleans jazz and early swing.

Also on Saturday Paul Asaro and His Rhythm will rattle the rafters with a tribute to Fats Waller. Asaro is known as one of the finest of a select group of pianists who have mastered the demanding two-handed jazz and ragtime piano styles from the first half of the 20th century. He was the featured pianist in the Obie award winning Broadway production of “Jelly Roll! The Music and the Man” and appeared onscreen with Vince Giordano’s band in the HBO series “Boardwalk Empire.” Currently Asaro tours the country as accompanist to Leon Redbone, playing concerts as a duo as well as appearing on NPR’s “A Prairie Home Companion” and “Mountain Stage” and recording for Leon’s latest studio album. Paul’s piano can be heard on two recent albums by singer and guitarist Loudon Wainwright III including the 2010 Grammy Award winning “Charlie Poole Project”. Paul Asaro and His Rhythm performs Saturday from 4 p.m. to 5:45 p.m and again at 12:30 a.m.

The Aaron Johnson Quintet performs on Sunday from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. Aaron Johnson is a Saxophonist and Scholar of Jazz History and Culture whose music and unrelenting energy have captivated listeners and musicians in a short period of time. A disciple of Charlie Parker and the Bebop era, Johnson is an artist possessing a wild musical imagination, a fearless heart and a probing intellect. In 2009 and 2014, Aaron produced historically accurate recreations of Benny Goodman’s Orchestra (2009, Oregon) and Charlie Parker with Strings (2014, NYC). He currently resides in New York City where he researches, performs, speaks and writes about Jazz Music.

Join us for an entire weekend of workshops with world-renown instructors, dance competitions and of course all the dancing you can take! Every year dancers come from all over the nation and even other countries to be part of this event and share their love of this historic American dance-form.

Proceeds of the event support the educational arm of cmDance which provides swing-era dance classes to low-income public schools throughout the Denver Metro Area, bringing the art of dance to almost 10,000 youth every year.

Jazz festival passes start at $109 for 3 nights of live music, full weekend passes which include 12 hours of swing dance classes over the weekend and all of the evening passes are currently $179. Get your passes now at www.LindyontheRocks.com, www.DenverVintageJazzFestival.org or by calling 303-883-6691. Single evening passes will be available at the door.

Community-Minded Dance (cmDance) is a Denver-based 501(c)3 non-profit organization which provides educational dance programs taught by expert local and guest instructors to prekindergarten through 12th grade students within Colorado schools. cmDance's mission is to promote and preserve vintage dances of the Americas from the early 20th century through education to foster the next generation of dancers and musicians. In addition to our school-based programs, cmDance hosts dance and music festivals that bring world-champion instructors, musicians, and dancers to educate audiences of all ages. These programs feature the music and dances of the Americas, including Lindy Hop and Argentine Tango, as well as other Vintage and Folkloric dances such as Cueca, Salsa, Swing, Charleston, Balboa, Jitterbug, and Tap. CmDance is dedicated to promoting and entertaining Colorado audiences with unique and historical dance experiences. For more information please contact us or visit our website at www.cmdance.org.
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