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."
Midsummer Night Swing 2012 is sponsored by Bank of America and Macy's
Midsummer Night Swing is made possible in part by grants from Daisy and Paul Soros
and Charina Endowment Fund.
Bank of America, a long time partner of Lincoln Center, joins us as a co-sponsor of Midsummer Night Swing. "Bank of America is a major supporter of arts and heritage programs around the world, stimulating cultural understanding and economic growth," said Jeff Barker, New York City Market President, Bank of America. "We are proud to sponsor Midsummer Night Swing, providing the public with access to this unique New York City cultural experience."
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
• Also new this year: As part of the David Rubenstein Atrium's Target Free Thursday series of free Thursday night performances, two performances in June will be by terrific dance bands. Target Free Thursday performances begin at 8:30pm, and seating is limited by capacity. The shows are:
Thursday, June 7 – Feufollet (Grammy-nominated Cajun band from Lafayette, Louisiana)
Thursday, June 21 - Boilermakers Jazz Band (Hot Jazz from veterans of Midsummer Night Swing)
The schedule for Midsummer Night Swing:
Tuesday, June 26
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 Foxtrot
DJ: 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 Cumbia
DJ: Geko Jones of Que Bajo?!
Artist travel courtesy of United Airlines.
Thursday, June 28
The ABC&D of Boogie Woogie Boogie Woogie, Jazz, Blues ***U.S. debut***
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 Hop
DJ: 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 Hop
DJ: Ryan Swift
Saturday, June 30
Orquesta Broadway Salsa, Charanga
Cuban 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 Mambo
DJ: DJ Broadway el Cubano del Sabor
Monday, July 2
Crytzer's Blue Rhythm Band Lindy Hop ** New York Debut**
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 Hop
DJ: Ryan Mascaro