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April 22, 2009

Midsummer Night Swing 2009 Announced

Midsummer Night Swing

April 22, 2009

Press Contact: Kate Merlino

(212) 875-5101, [email protected]


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

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 –

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”

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 –

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 –

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 –

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.

Programs and artists subject to change.

Twitter users can sign up to follow Midsummer Night Swing @lc_swing for ongoing news and updates.

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.

Additional support for Midsummer Night Swing 2009 is provided by Amtrak, Nanoosh, Great Performers Circle, Chairman’s Council, and Friends of Lincoln Center.

Operation of Lincoln Center’s public plazas is supported in part with public funds provided by the City of New York.

Movado is an Official Sponsor of Lincoln Center, Inc.

WNBC/WNJU are Official Broadcast Partners of Lincoln Center, Inc.

Continental Airlines is the Official Airline of Lincoln Center, Inc.

Nokia is the Official Mobile Equipment Provider of Lincoln Center, Inc.

MetLife is the National Sponsor of Lincoln Center, Inc.

“Summer at Lincoln Center” is sponsored by Diet Pepsi and The Wall Street Journal.

Midsummer Night Swing is a presentation of Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, Inc. (LPCA), which serves three primary roles: presenter of superb artistic programming, national leader in arts and education and community relations, and manager of the Lincoln Center campus. As a presenter of over 400 events annually, LCPA’s programs include American Songbook, Great Performers, Lincoln Center Festival, the Mostly Mozart Festival, Lincoln Center Out of Doors and Live From Lincoln Center. In addition, LCPA is leading a series of major capital projects on behalf of the resident organizations across the campus.

Lincoln Center is committed to providing and improving accessibility for people with disabilities. Braille and large-type programs are available for selected Lincoln Center concerts. Wheelchair seating and assisted hearing devices are available at all concert halls and theaters. For further information or to receive a Lincoln Center accessibility guide, call 212-875-5375.

Programs and artists subject to change.

For information and program updates for Midsummer Night Swing visit or call 212-875-5766.

High Resolution Images Return to Top

Kermit Ruffins & The Barbecue Swingers
Caption: Midsummer Night Swing 2009
Photo Credit: Brian Stanton
Size: 1800x1200
Twisting at Chubby Checker
Caption: Midsummer Night Swing 2009
Photo Credit: Brian Stanton
Size: 3744x5616
Chubby Checker & The Wildcats
Caption: Midsummer Night Swing 2009
Photo Credit: Brian Stanton
Size: 6346x4231
Kids Day!
Caption: Midsummer Night Swing 2009
Photo Credit: Kevin Yatarola
Size: 3483x2581

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