NEW YORK --April 18, 2012 -- Tickets go on sale today for Lincoln Center's 24th season of Midsummer Night Swing taking place Tuesdays through Saturdays, June 26 - July 14. Swing's 15 dazzling nights of dancing, and one free daytime lesson for children, take place at the bandshell and elevated dance floor in Damrosch Park, on West 62nd Street between Columbus and Amsterdam Avenues. Midsummer Night Swing offers an array of dance music styles including salsa, swing, tango, rock 'n' roll, and bhangra. Because of the national holiday there will be no Swing on July 4th, so a special Monday night will be added on July 2nd. The 2012 season of Midsummer Night Swing represents the 19th year of generous support for social dancing at Lincoln Center by Daisy and Paul Soros. The series opens on June 26 with a look back at the Mad Men era of the fifties and sixties with The Nelson Riddle Orchestra paying tribute to the music of Frank Sinatra and Ella Fitzgerald. The lush orchestrations, the swelling strings and romantic melodies defined cool in that era and made the dance floor the only place to be. Subsequent nights will bring sizzling salsa, smokin' New Orleans jazz, lively lindy-hopping, torrid tango, and rollicking rock 'n' roll onto the stage and out onto the floor. Another of the many highlights, and new this year, will be a night celebrating the centennial of Luis Gonzaga, the father of baião, the popular dance music from the northeastern region of Brazil.
This is the second year of sponsorship by Macy's. "Macy's Herald Square and Lincoln Center are two of the most popular destinations in New York City for New Yorkers and tourists alike," said Patti Lee, District Vice President of Macy's Herald Square. "We both bring the City together with our exciting and iconic public events whether it is swing dancing underneath the stars or watching our epic fireworks display in the sky." She added, "In New York City, there is no better way to celebrate summer than with Midsummer Night Swing. We are very proud to be a sponsor once again, and plan on celebrating the 2012 Swing season with windows and in-store events."
Each evening of Midsummer Night Swing is a ticketed event. The night 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 7:30 pm until 10 pm, and dancing continues until 11:30 pm on July 7 and 12 for the Silent Discos. Tickets and passes are on sale now. Multi-evening Midsummer Night Passes are priced at $80 for six nights, and $160 for the full season. New this year are the Latin Pass for $60 for four nights of Latin dance, and the Swing Pass for $60 for four nights of swing dancing. Tickets for individual evening events are $17. 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 at the Avery Fisher box office or beginning at 5:30 pm 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. Twitter users can sign up to follow Midsummer Night Swing @LCSwing for ongoing news and updates. Rain Policy Midsummer Night Swing makes every effort to present each event of the season, as long as unpredictable weather allows. Performance cancellations due to inclement weather will not be announced until 8:30 pm on show night. In the case of cancellation, ticket holders are entitled to exchange for another performance or a refund. Pass holders are not entitled to a refund. If a performance has begun and is cancelled after 8:30 pm, exchanges or refunds are not offered.
Silent Discos powered by Silent Frisco
On the nights of July 7 and 12, following the regularly-scheduled night of live music and dancing at approximately 10 pm, "silent discos" will take place on the dance floor and around Damrosch Park, continuing until 11:30 pm. At 10 pm, when the sound system is turned off, the dance party keeps going ? the DJ broadcasts directly to dancers' headphones, provided by Silent Frisco, until 11:30 pm. Passers-by will see hundreds of people dancing to seemingly no music ? a silent disco, in other words. Free with that night's live show ticket, or $5 at the door for Silent Disco only.
Swing Barbecue in the Park Restaurant Associates will offer a regular menu, inventive side dishes, and a nightly barbecue special inspired by the country or region of the Swing performers. Meal combinations will be available for a special price, drink specials will be offered, and cotton candy as well as gelato will be offered for dessert. Prices for menu items will be under $10.
"Dancing 101s" On three Wednesday nights before the Midsummer Night Swing season starts, the public is invited to take a dance lesson from a professional instructor in the David Rubenstein Atrium, Lincoln Center's visitors' center and performance space, on Broadway between 62nd and 63rd Streets. The evening begins at 7:00 pm with music from a top DJ, then there is a dance lesson given by a noted instructor that runs from 7:30 to 8:30 pm, then guests enjoy dancing until 10 pm. Cocktail specials will be offered, and refreshments will be for sale. Admission is free, and capacity is limited. The "Dancing 101" nights are:
- Wednesday, June 6 DJ: Lindy Hop legend Dawn Hampton Instructors: Evita Arce and Michael Jagger teach Lindy Hop
- Wednesday, June 13 DJ: Ron McGugins Instructor: Jimmy Anton teaches Salsa
- Wednesday, June 20 DJ: George Gee Instructors: Spencer Weisbond teaches Lindy Hop
The Nelson Riddle Orchestra: A Tribute to Frank Sinatra and Ella Fitzgerald Ballroom
Nelson Riddle was one of the greatest arrangers in the history of American popular music. He was a master of mood and subtlety, and an expert at drawing out a song's emotional subtext. His immortal work as an arranger and conductor for Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, Nat King Cole, Linda Ronstadt and others helped them deliver their most memorable performances. The group will focus on the music of Sinatra, Fitzgerald, and the 50s and 60s -- the music that Don Draper may have danced to - the golden era of American popular music.Lesson: Jaki Brockman teaches FoxtrotDJ: MB Music Services.
Wednesday, June 27
Celso Piña Cumbia
Mexican cumbia has become as much a part of the cumbia scene as is Colombian cumbia, and no one is more revered than Mexican singer/songwriter/arranger/accordionist Celso Piña. Known as "El Rebelde del Acordeón," the famed vocalist and accordion rebel almost single-handedly created the burgeoning cumbia scene in Monterrey, Mexico with his first album more three decades ago. Making a very rare New York appearance, Piña infuses the classic, rural sounds of tropical cumbia with a modern, cosmopolitan vibe that draws from Mexican regional traditions as well as collaborations with Latin's leading innovators.Lesson: Carlos Cruz teaches Mexican CumbiaDJ: Geko Jones of Que Bajo?!
Thursday, June 28
The ABC&D of Boogie Woogie Boogie Woogie, Jazz, Blues
Somewhere between classic jazz, ragtime piano, and early urban blues, you'll find boogie woogie, filled with rolling rhythms, and a cheerfully swinging drive. The ABC & D of Boogie Woogie is "A", Axel Zwingenberger, Germany's greatest modern boogie woogie pianist; "B", the raunchy vocalist and pianist Ben Waters, and the almost telepathic rhythm section; "C", Charlie Watts, the masterful drummer whose syncopated rhythms drive "the world's greatest rock and roll band"; and "D", Watts's best friend since childhood, Dave Green, one of the finest bassists on the UK jazz scene.Lesson: Roddy Caravella teaches Lindy HopDJ: Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus
Friday, June 29
Meschiya Lake & Dem Little Big Horns New Orleans Swing, Hot Jazz New Orleans' old-school jazz blows hot and sweet from the pipes of singer Meschiya Lake and her group, Dem Little Big Horns. They lead the revival of traditional jazz and jazz dance in The Big Easy, and Lake sings with a voice as "dark and rich as a liquor-filled bon-bon and powerful enough to stop one of the freight trains she used to hop." Lake started out as a dancer, lindy hopping her way through the clubs of New Orleans, and her innate feel for the pull of the dance floor is in every note she sings. Lesson: Heather Flock teaches Lindy HopDJ: Ryan Swift
Saturday, June 30
Orquesta Broadway Salsa, CharangaCuban charanga is the specialty of New York City's Orquesta Broadway, a group that is celebrating its 50th anniversary under the leadership of master flutist Eddy Zervignon. Charanga is characterized by elegant flute and violin interplay, with smoothly elegant dancing to go along. Dancers at Swing will be transported back to 1950s Cuba, when the warm breezes off El Malecon drifted into the dancehalls of Havana.Lesson: Carlos Köenig teaches Salsa and MamboDJ: DJ Broadway el Cubano del Sabor
Monday, July 2
This is one of the biggest bands on the national lindy hop scene, so the joint'll be jumpin'! Glenn Crytzer and his orchestra specializes in the popular music of the 1920s through early 40s, and they count Benny Goodman, Fats Waller, Louis Armstrong and Jelly Roll Morton among their many musical influences. Not only do they perform new arrangements of classic tunes, they play original compositions that all share one characteristic -- they set feet flying.Lesson: Simone Coonrod of Swinging with Simone® teaches Swing and Lindy HopDJ: Ryan Mascaro
Tuesday, July 3
Johnny Colon & his Orchestra Boogaloo, Cha-Cha, MamboA legend in the world of boogaloo, Johnny Colon is a product of New York's El Barrio who has played guitar since the age of three. By the time he graduated high school he added piano, trombone, vocals, acoustic bass and all the Latin rhythm instruments to that list. In the mid-1960s he worked on the new sound of Latin boogaloo -- a mix of salsa with cha cha and r&b - and his recording, "Boogaloo Blues", set the tone for the era and was the anthem for this period in Latin music history. Boogaloo is an urban sound, a New York sound, grounded in Latin music but with a grit that comes from the big city. Colon started the East Harlem Music School in 1972 to specifically teach Latin music, and the school has produced 14 orchestras over the years. Colon now performs with his own orchestra as lead vocalist, composer, arranger and music director. Lesson: Nydia Ocasio teaches Boogaloo and SalsaDJ: DJ Turmix
Thursday, July 5
DCS BhangraStraight from Birmingham, Great Britain -- the center of the UK's bhangra scene -- DCS is one of the groups that started the bhangra craze in the 1980s. Considered to be bhangra's best live band, known for the sheer energy of their in-your-face performances, they are making a rare New York appearance -- their first since 1995 -- and bringing with them the magnetic singer, Shin. Making the night even more special is the spinning by DJ Rekha, the creator of New York's longest-running bhangra dance party, which celebrates its 15th anniversary this year.Lesson: Priya Pandya teaches Dhoonya Dance (Bollywood and bhangra-inspired)DJ: DJ Rekha Friday, July 6 Gene Delafose & French Rockin' Boogie ZydecoZydeco doesn't come any more authentic than the music from Gene Delafose and his band. Born and raised in Eunice, Louisiana, Delafose played rubboard in his father, John Delafose's, famous zydeco band, then formed his own band to showcase his accordion-playing and vocals. Their sound is rooted in traditional Creole music with influences from both Cajun and country & western, as well as R&B and the blues. Delafose has been nominated for a Grammy Award and is considered a zydeco master.Lesson: Fredda Seidenbaum teaches Creole Waltz and ZydecoDJ: Meredith Ochs
Saturday, July 7
JD McPherson Rock 'n' Roll
Rib-stickin' rock 'n' roll is back and JD McPherson is the messenger. Named as "an artist you should know" by NPR in 2011, singer-songwriter McPherson plays bluesy, forward-thinking rock that has layers of retro soul and rockabilly, along with a subtle post-modern sensibility, in the mix. A former middle school art teacher who grew up listening to Delta blues, jazz, and Jimi Hendrix, as well as punk rock and hip-hop, McPherson came late but fully formed to his music career. His debut album has just been reissued nationally on Rounder Records, and July 7th marks only his third visit to New York. Midsummer Night Swing is catching a star on his way to becoming a supernova. Tonight, after a long hiatus, New York City welcomes home Jonathan Toubin, DJ behind legendary New York Night Train parties such as Land of 1000 Dances, to spin his finest "maximum rock and soul 45s."Lesson: Elaine Silver and Adam Lee teach JitterbugDJ: Jonathan ToubinSilent Disco powered by Silent Frisco to follow JD McPherson at 10:00pm.
Tuesday, July 10
Las Reinas de la Salsa: Mambo Legends Orchestra featuring Cita Rodriguez, Yoko la Japonesa Salsera, and Nayibe la Gitana paying tribute to Celia, Graciela, and La Lupe
Three longtime members of the Tito Puente Orchestra came together as the Mambo Legends Orchestra with the goal of bringing the sound of the 1950s and 60s Palladium-era music to an international audience. The Mambo Legends Orchestra keeps the sound of the Big 3 ? Machito, Tito Rodriguez, and Tito Puente ? thriving and moving forward, integrating new performers into their classic sound. On July 10th they will honor three great female salsa singers ? Celia, Graciela, and La Lupe ? with contemporary vocalists whose electricity sparks the dancing crowd.
Wednesday, July 11
Cristian Zárete Sextet featuring Leonardo Suarez Paz Tango Acclaimed Argentinian composer, arranger, and pianist Cristian Zárate, winner of Argentina's prestigious Clarin Award, will lead a transcontinental group of exceptional musicians through the music of tango's Golden Age, the 1940s and '50s. Buenos Aires and New York collide as Zárate is reunited with his longtime collaborator, the virtuoso violinist, vocalist, and dancer Leonardo Suarez Paz. Zárete was music director for Tango Argentino on Broadway, and Paz played in the group on stage. Few can match the extraordinary talent and passion of this dynamic ensemble of tango sensualists. Lesson: Junior Cervila teaches TangoDJ: DJ Ko Tanaka
Thursday, July 12
The Losers Lounge: The King of Pop vs. Prince Funk, Motown, PopThe Losers Lounge is a collective of some of New York's best musicians and singers who perform the great songs of the 60s, 70s, 80s, and 90s. According to The New York Times, they "honor pop stars from these eras and validate the zeal of music fans." Started by session keyboardist Joe McGinty in 1993, Loser's Lounge has performed nearly 300 shows honoring 50 different artists. With a song list that pits the music of the Jacksons, from Motown classics of the Jackson 5, to solo smashes by Michael and Janet, against favorites from Prince, Sheila E., and Morris Day & the Time, the dancers will determine which musical dynasty truly sets the dance floor on fire. Get out the extinguishers.Lesson: Joe Palmer teaches West Coast SwingDJ: The Freedom Dance Party
Friday, July 13
Mestres do Forró Nordestino: A Tribute to Luiz Gonzaga Forró, BaiãoNortheastern Brazil dance party featuring Maciel Melo, Biliu de Campina, & Walmir Silva with Quarteto OlindaForró music, and its earlier style called baião, originated in the northeastern province of Brazil called Pernambuco. The music is lively, accordion-driven, danceable -- "music for all the people" -- and it is danced at the Feast of St. João every year in June. Campina, Melo, Silva, and Claudio Rabeca (of Quarteto Olinda) are four of the finest forró musicians from the region. They are making a rare visit to New York (including Melo's first performance outside of Brazil) to extend the St. João Festival for one night in July at Midsummer Night Swing.Lesson: Liliana Araujo teaches ForróDJ: Béco DranoffPresented with support from EMPETUR -- Empresa Pernambucana de Turismo, and the Consulate General of Brazil in New York Saturday, July 14 from 3:00 to 4:30pmKids' DanceFreeBallroom, Salsa, Swing, MerengueKids get in on the act with a special afternoon session (ideal for the entire family) with teacher Rodney Lopez from Dancing Classrooms ? seen in Mad Hot Ballroom, the 2005 documentary about teaching ballroom dance in NYC public schools. He'll get youngsters off on the right foot, teaching them the basics of ballroom, tango and swing.
Saturday, July 14
Harlem Renaissance Orchestra: A Tribute to Illinois Jacquet Big Band SwingJump 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 Midsummer Night Swing favorite, Illinois Jacquet, and plays their music as if it were yesterday. Lesson: Margaret Batiuchok teaches SwingDJ: David Graybill