Midsummer Night Swing opening night
I'm so excited that our 23rd season of Midsummer Night Swing at Lincoln Center is finally here. We kick off tomorrow night with a free show by the LA-based Jonathan Stout Orchestra, one of the favorites of the Lindy Hop community. Tickets were distributed by lottery in advance, but if we have room on the dance floor (and if you ask me nicely) we'll try to get you on the floor.
The reason for the free admission is two-fold. First, we'll be hosting a gala honoring our long-time patrons Daisy and Paul Soros, who join the Charina Endowment Fund and our brand new sponsor, Macy's, to help bring the festival to you. Second, building upon the new set we introduced last year, we have a brand new dance floor that we are proud to unveil. We had several tests of various options over the spring, and the floor we chose was the hands down favorite of swing, salsa and tango dancers. We hope you'll agree that it's a huge improvement.
And to celebrate our new relationship with Macy's, some of our favorite dancers will be dancing swing and salsa in the windows of Macy's flagship 34th Street store at lunchtime and again right afterwork. Hope you can stop by!
The complete line-up is at http://www.MidsummerNightSwing.org,
but here's a quick rundown of the rest of the week's shows. If you want to get on the dancefloor quicker, and save some money in the process, I recommend getting season passes or 6-dance passes. You can share the card with your favorite dance partner.
Tues, June 28 - Celebrate the 40th Anniversary of Soul Train. We have a live set from the legendary horn section Pee Wee Ellis and Fred Wesley, playing funk classics from James Brown, the JBs and Lyn Collins, along with an extended dj set by the irrepressible Biz Markie, who will be accompanied by rare vintage footage from Soul Train archives. And there will be a very special dance lession by original Soul Train Dancer Tyrone Proctor, who will teach some of your favorite dances, including the Bump, The Robot, the Funky Chicken, and the all-important Loose Booty. Plus, he's gathered some of the pioneering Lockers to dance with him. Trust me, this will be a night for the history books. (Speaking of which, Pee Wee blessed my brass band class this afternoon and sat in with us, as did my dad. If he can make Macedonian brass tunes in 7/4 sound funky, just imagine him playing classics like Cold Sweat….)
Wed, June 29 - Ballroom night with the Swingtime Big Band. It's been a while since we've had a night focused on all the ballroom styles, from foxtrot and swing, to cha-chas and rhumba. So you think you can dance? Show us what you got. And remember, come early if you want to pick up some pointers.
Thurs, June 30 - Hector del Curto's Eternal Tango Orchestra. After a few years of electro-tango, this year, we go back to the sounds of tango's golden age, under the leadership of one of the US's finest bandoneon players. It will be a sexy, elegant night. http://midsummernightswing.org/index.php/msns-11-hector-del-curtos-eternal-tango-orchestra
Friday, July 1 - I'm thrilled to welcome Rio's samba sensation Diogo Nogueira for his US debut. One of the leader of Brasil's next generation of stars, and the son of Portela samba school composer Joao Nogueira, Diogo recently won the Latin Grammy for best samba album, and hosts a weekly television show back home. This is a very special chance to say you saw him when… nublu's Greg Caz spins between sets.
Saturday, July 2 - Aurora y Zon del Barrio with special guests Larry Harlow and Eddy Zervigon - The sound of Latin NYC will be the focus of this night of salsa, boogaloo, plena and more, when the high energy Zon del Barrio are joined by the legendary Fania pianist, and Orquesta Broadways master flutist. My friend DJ Turmix, who has been spinning at the Empire Hotel and a new monthly Boogaloo party at nublu, will be holding it down on the turntables.
GlobeSonic on Sunday, July 3, 2pm
And speaking of turntables, 16 years after I stopped working at Central Park SummerStage, I'm finally going to be back on the stage, but in a new role: "artist." GlobeSonic Sound System makes it's SummerStage debut, when Derek Beres, Duke Mushroom and I get to join an incredible line-up with Haiti's legendary vodou-rockers RAM (who were a huge hit at this year's globalFEST), the Congolese rap star Baloji, who has released some of the funkiest tracks in new African music to come out recently, and the spacey desert guitar of Western Sahara's Group Doueh. We spin from 2-3pm, and in between bands, and admission is free, so hope to see you all there. It would have been one of my can't miss shows of the summer even if I weren't on the bill. But now I am. Hope you'll be there, too.
Billy Bragg - The Big Busk - Time to vote!
Thanks to all of you who have been making suggestions on Facebook and Twitter for songs that everyone might play and sing together with Billy Bragg at Lincoln Center Out of Doors's opening night on July 27. We’ve collected them all and they’re up now for a vote on our Lincoln Center Out of Doors Facebook wall. If you want to check out the nominations, you can see them on our youtube channel http://www.Youtube.com/LCBigBusk
Starting tomorrow morning, head over to Facebook, make your picks, and most importantly, tell us why you voted for the songs you did (it’s your chance to sway others to your cause).
Voting closes at the end of the week, when we’ll send the list of the winners to Billy Bragg, who will include some of your favorites along with some selections of his own for The Big Busk on our Lincoln Center Out of Doors.
Finally, it's been an ecstatic GLBT Pride weekend, and I'm so proud that Gov Cuomo and the NYS Senate and Assembly have finally done the right thing and granted marriage equality to all New Yorkers. It's been a long time coming. I already have congratulated a number of newly engaged friends, and I'm looking forward to going to a whole lot more weddings in the future. Those pre-show dance lessons at Midsummer Night Swing might come in more handy than expected. (like how I pulled that back?)
See you soon. For shorter and more frequent updates, find me @ActiveCultures, @LCSwing, @LCOutofDoors, the ActiveCultures group on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/home.php?sk=group_36938184062