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Sarah Hart
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Lincoln Center announces MIdsummer Night Swing (July 7-25, 2009 Manhattan, NY)

by Sarah Hart
July 7, 2009
Lincoln Center
Damroche Park
Southwest corner of the Lincoln Center Plaza, at 62nd Street between Columbus and Amsterdam Avenues.
JULY 7 - 25, 2009
Highlights Include:
Bigger dance floor and larger stage than ever before;
New Orleans' PONDEROSA STOMP revue for two nights – one soul/r&b, one rockabilly;
CHUBBY CHECKER celebrating his revolution of popular dance music as part of
Lincoln Center's 50th Anniversary;
The New York Debut of OTROS AIRES, electro tango nuevo from Argentina
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – Tickets are on sale now for Lincoln Center's 21st Anniversary season of Midsummer Night Swing (every Tuesday through Saturday, July 7—25). Because of continuing redevelopment projects, this program will take place again this year in Lincoln Center's Damrosch Park, W. 62nd Street between Columbus and Amsterdam Avenues. There is a larger stage and bigger dance floor this year – 30% bigger – so the site can accommodate everyone who wants to dance.
Midsummer Night Swing is 15 dazzling nights of dancing to the world's most popular dance bands. There will also be a Kids' Day, when children of all ages can learn the latest steps from top dance teachers.
The 2009 season of Midsummer Night Swing represents the 16th year of generous support for dancing on the plazas of Lincoln Center by Daisy and Paul Soros. According to Daisy Soros, "To dance under the stars surrounded by our dramatic cityscape is a peak New York experience and a high point of summer in our city."
Midsummer Night Swing is the work of Lincoln Center's Director of Public Programming, Bill Bragin. "The series will offer an array of dance music genres including salsa, swing, rockabilly, r&b, tango and rock 'n' roll," say Bragin. "Lincoln Center's 50th Anniversary will be celebrated with two shows spotlighting milestones in the history of popular dance music: Chubby Checker and his introduction of 'dancing apart to the beat', and The Big 3 Palladium Orchestra, which plays the hot mambo sounds that Machito, Tito Rodriguez and Tito Puente popularized back in 1950s New York."
Midsummer Night Swing's evenings of dance are ticketed events. Each evening begins with a dance lesson at 6:30 pm for all levels with some of New York's foremost instructors. Lessons are included in the price of admission. Live music and dancing is at 7:30pm until 10pm. All events take place on an elevated dance floor in Damrosch Park.
Midsummer Night Swing is made possible in part by grants from Daisy and Paul Soros
and Charina Endowment Fund.
Sponsored by American Ballroom Company and Bloomberg.
Tickets and passes are on sale now. Multi-evening Swing Passes are priced at $80 for six nights, and $145 for the full season. Tickets for individual evening events are $15, and the Kid's Day! event is $5, with children under 5 free.
The Swing box office is located in the lobby of Avery Fisher Hall, Broadway and 65th Street. Tickets for individual events and passes can be purchased in advance or on the night of the event at a box office in Damrosch Park. All major credit cards will be accepted. Tickets and passes can also be purchased through CenterCharge, 212-721-6500, or by logging on to www.MidsummerNightSwing.org.
Rain Policy If it rains before 8:30, Swing staff waits to see if it stops; if it does, they go on with the lesson or show. If steady rain continues past 8:30, the show is cancelled and ticket holders may bring their bracelet or ticket for a future evening of dancing, or they may receive a refund. If rain starts after the completion of the first set, Lincoln Center is unable to make refunds or exchanges.
The schedule for Midsummer Night Swing:
Tuesday, July 7
Kermit Ruffins & the Barbecue Swingers New Orleans Jazz, Small Band Swing
Kermit Ruffins plays New Orleans jazz with all the swing and swagger of the late, great Louis Armstrong. His sweet horn blows jazz, funk, and standards that reflect the big brass tradition of his beloved city. Charismatic and confident, Kermit Ruffins and his band really cook - in every sense of the word - as he serves up hot barbecue as well as cool music at his restaurant & club in The Big Easy.
Lesson: Paolo "P Lindy" Lanna of the Lindy Hop All-Stars
DJ: Ryan Swift – Yehoodi.com
Wednesday, July 8
Chubby Checker Rock 'n' Roll **50th Anniversary Show**
Note: One set at 8:30pm
Chubby Checker is credited with revolutionizing popular music when he invented "dancing apart to the beat" to his hit "The Twist". That record is the only single to reach #1 twice, and it was the #1 single for the entire decade of the 1960s. Checker's other dance hits include "Limbo Rock", "The Pony", and "Let's Twist Again," among others. A rock n' roll icon who has sold more than 250 million records over the course of his 50-year career, Checker maintains a full schedule of concert dates and he last released a chart-topping dance track, "Knock Down the Walls," in 2007.
Lesson: You Should Be Dancing
DJ: Phast Phreddie The Boogaloo Omnibus
Thursday, July 9
The Woody Herman Orchestra directed by Frank Tiberi Big Band Swing
Very few of the bands that carry the name of the great band leaders of the 1930s and 40s have any of the original players left. But the Woody Herman Orchestra is an exception. Band leader Frank Tiberi played with Herman beginning in 1969, and was personally chosen by Herman to lead his band before he died in 1987. The Herman band, known for its often experimental approach to jazz, blues and swing, was one of the best bands of the era and its current incarnation carries on the driving sound that made it famous.
Lesson: Simone Coonrod of Swinging with Simone®
DJ: Nando Valesquez
Friday, July 10
Occidental Brothers Dance Band International (at 7:30pm) Soukous, Rumba, Benga, Highlife
Samba Mapangala & Virunga (at 9:30pm)
The Chicago-based Occidental Brothers Dance Band International plays Central and West African classic dance music including soukous, rumba, and highlife. This multi-racial group, popular on the summer festival circuit, gets audiences on the dance floor with their classic Ghanian beats. Joining them on the bill will be East Africa's most beloved singer, Samba Mapangala, and his group, Virunga. Mapangala created a unique style of Congolese rumba which incorporates elements of Kenyan benga and Swahili rumba, all sung in his astounding voice. Mapangala had a recent worldwide hit with his song, "Obama Ubarikie."
Lesson: Thelma Mwan' Dido
DJ: DJ Beto
Saturday, July 11
Big 3 Palladium Orchestra: The Music of Machito, Tito Rodriguez, and Tito Puente Mambo, Latin Jazz, Big Band **50th Anniversary Show**
In the 1950s, America's love affair with the mambo started in the Palladium Ballroom in New York. The giants of the genre were Machito, Tito Rodriguez and Tito Puente, known as "The Big 3." This musical era is recreated by the Big 3 Palladium Orchestra, led by two sons of the maestros – percussionists Tito Rodriguez, Jr. and Machito, Jr. (Mario Grillo) - and comprised of many musicians from the original bands. The sound is big and blazing, an aural feast of pulsing Latin rhythms.
Lesson: Delille 'Mambo D' Thomas & Glenda 'La Mambera' Heffer
DJ: Ron McGugins – On2 Productions
Tuesday, July 14
Melba Joyce & Her Big Band Big Band Swing Debut performance
The big band era had only a few female band leaders – Ella Fitzgerald and Billie Holiday were two – but now veteran jazz songbird Melba Joyce joins their ranks. Joyce, who has sung with The Count Basie Orchestra and the Lionel Hampton Orchestra as well as made numerous recordings, has assembled a constellation of New York jazz all stars to perform this summer, including Helen Sung on piano, Anat Cohen on tenor sax, Don Braden on tenor sax, Valery Ponomav on trumpet, Tanya Darby on trumpet and Benny Powell on trombone. The group will swing the standards, the not-so-standards, old tunes, new tunes and some Latin on the side. The evening will include a tribute to the great Benny Goodman, who would have celebrated his 100th birthday this year.
Lesson: Pierre Dulaine - American Ballroom Theater
DJ: Dave Muzii
Wednesday, July 15
Otros Aires Tango New York Debut
Otros Aires, an electro tango group founded in Barcelona in 2003 but now based in their native Argentina, mixes the tango and milongas songs from the early 20th Century with electronic melodies, sequences and lyrics from the 21st Century for a unique sound. Composed of four members – on bandoneon, guitar, drums and keyboard – the warmth of the acoustic instruments is more than matched by the coolness of the electronic sequences. Otros Aires' music is hypnotic, sensual, and timeless tango. Their set will include traditional acoustic tango as well as new, electronic repertoire.
Lesson: Victoria Sarquisse & Federico Jorquera - Tampa Tango Argentino
DJ: Yesim 'La Turca" 3
Thursday, July 16
Ponderosa Stomp: The Get Down – Soul/R&B Soul, R&B, Funk
Featuring William Bell, Harvey Scales, and The Bobbettes with The Bo-Keys
New Orleans' renowned music revue, the Ponderosa Stomp, decamps to New York for several nights of great live music. The first night will showcase Stax/Volt recording artist and songwriter William Bell, whose strong yet smooth voice sang "You Don't Miss Your Water," among other R&B classics. Harvey ("Disco Lady") Scales, also on the bill, has been active since the 60s. He credits James Brown's funk as being a major influence on his music. The third headliner will be The Bobbettes, the first all-female R&B group to have a major pop hit record with "Mr. Lee." All three acts will perform with those champions of the Memphis soul sound, The Bo-Keys.
Lesson: Dave Maxx & MAK 3 Dance Club featuring Chicago's DJ Lady C
DJ: Meredith Ochs – Sirius XM
Friday, July 17
Ponderosa Stomp: The Best Dance in Town - Rockabilly
Featuring Joe Clay, Carl Mann, and The Collins Kids with Deke Dickerson & The Eccofonics
Night two of Ponderosa Stomp will celebrate with a night of rockabilly starting with singer Joe Clay. Clay, a contemporary of Elvis Presley's who mined the same rock, R&B, and blues roots, had some early hits before being rediscovered in the 1980s by British audiences. Carl Mann, singer and pianist, is an alum of Sun Records (as was Presley) who recorded a rockabilly version of Nat King Cole's "Mona Lisa", among other songs, that have fanatic fans to this day. The Collins Kids were juvenile rockabilly stars in the 1950s, singing hits aimed at a young audience. Larry Collins was a lightning-fingered double-neck guitar whiz from the age of 10, and the brother and sister (Lorrie) still perform together. All three acts will perform with Deke Dickerson & The Eccofonics, one of America's foremost purveyors of roots music. These two nights of Ponderosa Stomp will be followed by a third, July 19th, when Lincoln Center Festival presents a Tribute to Wardell Quezergue, the composer/arranger responsible for shaping southern music and the soulful sounds of the Mississippi delta and New Orleans into giant hits.
Lesson: John Knapp & Meredith Snead – Shall We Dance?
DJ: Todd-O-Phonic Todd, WFMU
Saturday, July 18
New Swing Sextet Salsa, Boogaloo
A New York-based salsa band that was wildly popular in the 1960s and 70s, New Swing Sextet has reformed and is playing concerts dates all over the world as well as making recordings of classic pop songs given a salsa treatment, including "My Favorite Things" and "Che Che."
Lesson: Tony Meredith & Melanie LaPatin – www.DanceTimesSquare.com
DJ: DJ Nelson Torres
Tuesday, July 21
Catherine Russell and Cat & the Hounds Swing Band Small Band Swing, Blues
Catherine Russell is a genuine jazz and blues singer with a voice that is dusky, feminine and soulful. The daughter of Louis Armstrong's longtime musical director, Luis Russell, and outstanding bassist and vocalist Carline Ray, Russell has performed with such noted artists as Cyndi Lauper, Steely Dan and David Bowie. Her first two CDs – Cat and Sentimental Streak – won accolades from sources as diverse as The Wall Street Journal and France's Prix du Jazz Vocal 2008. Her talent can stand comparison to her prodigiously gifted forebears.
Lesson: Joe Palmer – joepalmerdance.com
DJ: Dave 'Shorty Dave' Jacoby
Wednesday, July 22
Big Bad Voodoo Daddy Swing, Swing, Jump Blues
Big Bad Voodoo Daddy is the band most responsible for reviving swing dancing in the 1990s, and they are also known for playing on the hit TV show, "Dancing With the Stars" and in the movie "Swingers." Their horns moan, the rhythm section slips and slides, the vocals scream and croon – guaranteeing that everybody is up jitterbugging and skip jiving with the best of them. This evening's show will include a tribute to the consummate entertainer, Cab Calloway.
Lesson: Erik Novoa – SwingShoes.net
DJ: Juke Joint Johnny
Thursday, July 23
La Excelencia Salsa Dura
New York's new La Excelencia plays sizzling salsa dura, as raw and tough as the city it calls home. The voices are loud, the percussion louder, the horns loudest of all. Their lyrics are about the struggle of life in the city. La Excelencia is, according to Latin Beat magazine, "the real thing", music to be celebrated, listened to, danced to.
Lesson: Stepping Out Studios
DJ: DJ Andreas
Friday, July 24
La Sonora Dinamita Cumbia
A Columbian group now based in Mexico, La Sonora Dinamita is one of the first cumbia groups to reach international success (in the early1960s) and it is now one of the most important bands in the genre under the leadership of Fruko, of Columbian salsa powerhouse Fruko y sus Tesos. The band plays cumbia, an African-rooted style from the Atlantic coast of Colombia, and it is the most popular dance style throughout Central America and Mexico. The tempo is moderate and the steps are easy, but the sizzle is there. Baile!
Lesson: Lucy Cruz
DJ: Monk-One (Wax Poetics, NYC Trust)
Saturday, July 25
Harlem Renaissance Orchestra with special guest Houston Person Lindy Hop, Big Band Swing, Jump Blues
The evening includes a special tribute to the late band leader, saxophone great and former Midsummer Night Swing headliner Illinois Jacquet.
Jump to the big-band sound of the Harlem Renaissance Orchestra, a group that was formed more than twenty years ago to revive the great sounds from the big band era. The band recognizes the masters of the big band sound: Benny Goodman, Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Lionel Hampton and many others, and plays their music like it was yesterday. The band's special guest is the soulful sax player Houston Person, known for his distinctive sassy sound and for his years performing with the great Etta Jones.
Lesson: Margaret Batiuchok, NY Swing Dance Hall of Fame, Harvest Moon Ball Champion
DJ: Larry Kang
Special Event for Midsummer Night Swing 2009:
Saturday, July 18 from 3:30 to 5:00pm
Kids' Day! with Rodney Lopez and American Ballroom Theater
($5 per person, children and adults; children under five are free)
Ballroom, Tango, Swing for kids
Kids can get in on the act with a special afternoon session (ideal for the entire family) with Rodney Lopez from American Ballroom Theater, featured in the documentary "Mad Hot Ballroom." He'll get youngsters off on the right foot, teaching them the basics of ballroom, tango and swing.
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