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Apr 26, 2018
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Series Celebrates Social Dance and Popular Music from Around the World, including:

  • Debut performance of Lincoln Center–commissioned Sisterhood of Swing, led by Bria Skonberg and featuring Regina Carter and Anat Cohen, an ode to the International Sweethearts of Rhythm, the first integrated, all-female swing band
  • The Legendary Joe Quijano y Su Conjunto Cachana performing historic San Juan– and Bronx-influenced salsa
  • The genre-bending salsa of Puerto Rico’s Orquesta El Macabeo
  • U.K. soul outfit The James Hunter Six with Grammy Award–winning classic blues and rock ’n’ roll
  • Newly formed Cuban mambo big band Orquesta Akokán of Daptone Records in New York City debut
  • Series premiere of traditional western Indian dance Garba
  • Texas two-step with Austin-based band Heybale
  • Joe McGinty & The Loser’s Lounge perform the music of ’70s disco-era favorites
  • Harlem Renaissance Orchestra closes the season with 14th annual tribute to celebrated jazz soloist and band leader Illinois Jacquet
  • Return of Silent Discos, Fashion and Dance Contests, and LC Kids Dance!

Today, Lincoln Center announced the 2018 season of Midsummer Night Swing, bringing people from all walks of life together to experience an array of sounds and dance styles from Tuesday, June 26 to Saturday, July 14, 2018. This iconic New York social dance party will feature 15 nights under the stars, with outdoor dance lessons and live performances paying tribute to the histories of Lindy hop, swing, mambo, salsa, blues, and more, while welcoming newcomers and dance pros alike to experience the joy of social dance.

“Midsummer Night Swing celebrates the rich diversity of New York City by inviting the entire community to connect through social dance—all ages, ethnicities, skill levels, and backgrounds can meet on the dance floor,” says Jill Sternheimer, Director of Public Programming for Lincoln Center. “This year’s season reflects our shared history, with international artists, debut musical acts, and classic swing, disco, and Latin music, for an unforgettable summer in Damrosch Park.”

Sisterhood of Swing, an all-female jazz group created especially for Midsummer Night Swing, will open the season on June 26, inspired by the groundbreaking International Sweethearts of Rhythm. The International Sweethearts paved new ground for female musicians and defied Jim Crow–era laws by becoming the first integrated, all-female jazz band. This star-studded tribute, formed and lead by renowned trumpeter and vocalist Bria Skonberg, will pay homage to the International Sweethearts’ legacy with leading jazz musicians of this generation—virtuoso violinist Regina Carter, Grammy nominated clarinetist Anat Cohen, and more.

Latin culture and rhythms will fill Damrosch Park, beginning with The Legendary Joe Quijano y Su Conjunto Cachana, breathing life into seven decades of San Juan and Bronx salsa history. In collaboration with the Latin Alternative Music Conference, Puerto Rican rockeros Orquesta El Macabeo will showcase their indie rock salsa in Damrosch Park—an unconventional take on a classic genre. The explosive 16-piece Cuban mambo band Orquesta Akokán make their NYC debut, fresh off the release of their debut album on Daptone Records. The Mambo Legends Orchestra celebrate the heyday of 1950s New York mambo with Palladium Ballroom–style dance, while Buenos Aires–based Tanghetto will present traditional tango moves and rhythms fused with synthesized beats.

Blues dance fans can move to the Brianna Thomas Band, featuring one of the of the most versatile singers on the scene today. The Grammy Award–winning powerful soul band The James Hunter Six will usher in an evening of classic rock ’n’ roll and rhythm and blues, with WFUV’s Rita Houston spinning on the decks all night long. Paying homage to one of the great soloists of the swing era, the Harlem Renaissance Orchestra will return for the 14th annual tribute to Illinois Jacquet, as dancers imagine themselves in the golden age of Lindy hop by competing in the Ambassador Prize Dance Contest on July 14. Contestants can register online here.

Naomi & Her Handsome Devils debut at Midsummer Night Swing with Lindy hop champion Naomi Uyama leading a talented group of musicians in a classic swing sound. The Glenn Crytzer Orchestra big band will call on tunes by Benny Goodman, Artie Shaw, Glenn Miller, and more. Gerard Carelli and His Orchestra will delight with timeless ballroom sounds, perfect for the waltz, cha-cha, and foxtrot. The orchestra’s performance will also soundtrack this year’s Ballroom Fashion Contest on June 29, where dancers can show off their favorite vintage finds, inspired by the boardwalk aesthetic of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers.

For the first time at Damrosch Park, the western Indian dance Garba will have the spotlight. This easy to learn, celebratory dance has a storied history, performed all over the world year-round and during the fall festival Navratri. Rounding out the second week is a special night of Texas Two Step with Heybale, former sidemen for country legends Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Buck Owens and now current residents at Austin’s legendary Continental Club.

Joe McGinty & The Loser’s Lounge bring back the infectious melodies of the ’70s disco era on June 28, paired with one of two nights of Silent Disco. Dancers can pick up a pair of headphones for silent tunes from 10:00 pm to 11:30 pm, on June 28 with DJs Bill Coleman, Rimarkable, and Rogue. On July 13, Monica Sharp, Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus, and Rita Houston of WFUV will take over the decks.

LC Kids Dance with Dancing Classrooms is back for another year, teaching the basics of merengue, tango, salsa, and swing for ages 6 to 10, Saturday, July 14 from 3:00 to 4:30 pm.

“As the official hospital of Lincoln Center, NewYork-Presbyterian is proud to once again join in presenting this year’s Midsummer Night Swing,” said Dr. Steven J. Corwin, President and CEO, NewYork-Presbyterian. “We are committed to enriching the lives of New Yorkers by supporting wellness and celebrating diversity in the arts.”

Evenings at Midsummer Night Swing are ticketed events, on sale today. Admission includes a dance lesson for people of all skill levels, taught by some of New York’s foremost instructors. Through May 2, all ticket types can be purchased with no additional fees. Tickets start at $17. More information on individual tickets and season passes can be found below and at MidsummerNightSwing.org.

Live music begins at 7:30 pm and lasts until 10:00 pm, except on June 28 and July 13 when Silent Disco extends the party until 11:30 pm.

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Midsummer Night Swing 2018 Schedule


Tuesday, June 26

Sisterhood of Swing - Swing

led by Bria Skonberg
featuring Regina Carter and Anat Cohen
with Lakecia Benjamin, Sharel Cassity, Chloe Feoranzo, and Camille Thurman, saxes; Emily Asher, trombone; Linda Briceño and Jami Dauber, trumpets; Endea Owens, bass; Savannah Harris, drums; Michela Lerman, tap dancer; and Champian Fulton, piano

The 2018 dance season in Damrosch Park kicks off with an all-star, all-woman big band led by “the shining hope of hot jazz” Bria Skonberg (New York Times), with jazz violin legend Regina Carter, powerhouse clarinetist Anat Cohen, and some of the jazz world’s best musicians. Commissioned by Lincoln Center, the creation of this powerhouse jazz ensemble was inspired by the International Sweethearts of Rhythm, the first integrated, all-female swing band that Earl Hines once praised as “the first Freedom Riders.”

Dance Instructor: Rehema Trimiew teaches Lindy Hop and Swing
DJ: Heather Flock
Commissioned by Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts


Wednesday, June 27

The Legendary Joe Quijano y Su Conjunto Cachana - Salsa

San Juan–born, Bronx-raised salsa pioneer and “El Rey de la Pachanga” Joe Quijano will take over Damrosch Park for the first Latin dance night of Midsummer Night Swing. Over his seven-decade career, Quijano has played with Latin music all-stars Orlando Marín, Eddie Palmieri, Paquito Guzmán, Israel “Cachao” López, and many others. Dancers are invited to pachanga, boogaloo, and salsa to the classic rhythms of Quijano and his famous band.

Dance Instructors: Eddie and Maria Torres teach Salsa
DJ: DJ Mar Y Sol
FREE Adaptive lesson from 5:30 to 6:00 pm by Dance for PD®


Thursday, June 28

Joe McGinty & The Loser’s Lounge - Disco

Keyboardist and bandleader Joe McGinty and his killer band, deemed a part of “essential New York” by Time Out, celebrate the solid gold disco hits of the 1970s. Audiences are invited to break out their favorite platforms, polyester pieces, and lilac eye shadow to accompany a night of New York hustle at this not-to-be-missed party.

Dance Instructor: Alessandra Marconi teaches Hustle
DJ: Bill Coleman
Silent Disco DJs: Bill Coleman, Rimarkable, and Rogue

After hours: Silent Disco powered by Quiet Events
At 10:00 pm, when the sound system turns off, the dance party keeps going—DJs Bill Coleman, Rimarkable, and Rogue broadcast directly to your headphones until 11:30 pm. A wireless headset is free with your ticket; $5 at the door for Silent Disco only.


Friday, June 29

Gerard Carelli and His Orchestra - Ballroom

Trombonist and bandleader Gerard Carelli, who honed his chops performing alongside Sinatra, Clooney, and Tormé, leads one of the city’s most popular ballroom bands at this chic starlit ball where dancers have a chance to perfect their waltzes, foxtrots, and cha-chas.

Dance Instructor: Eva Carrozza teaches Ballroom
DJ: Gary the DJ

Calling all Belles and Beaus of the Ball
To compete in our Ballroom Fashion Contest, be on the dance floor by 7:30 pm in your most eye-catching “summer soirée” eveningwear.


Saturday, June 30

The Glenn Crytzer Orchestra - ’30s and ’40s Big Band Swing

Bandleader extraordinaire Glenn Crytzer and his sizzling 14-piece orchestra summon the spirits of Glenn Miller, Chick Webb, and Benny Goodman for an unforgettable moonlight serenade in the heart of Manhattan. Authentic big-band swing and fresh vintage-style originals are Crytzer’s signature recipe for hopping parties that keep the dance floor packed.

Dance Instructor: Laura Jeffers teaches Lindy Hop
DJ: David Graybill


Tuesday, July 3

Garba in the Park Garba, Raas, and Indian Folk Dance
featuring Kashyap Jani and Friends

Even if you are new to these energetic group dances from Gujarat in western India, you’ll quickly find your place on the dance floor during this spirited night of culture, community, and live music. Garba, with its repeating claps, twirls, and circular patterns, and raas, performed with sticks and rotating partners, are traditionally danced during the fall festival of Navratri and before weddings. Fun and social, they have been passionately embraced by young people across the Indian diaspora in recent years. Both are easy to learn, especially with our instructors and the Sa Dance Company on hand.

Dance Instructors: Rohan Sheth and Heena Patel teach Garba and Raas
DJ: DJ Sunny
This show will be played with two brief intermissions.


Wednesday, July 4

The Mambo Legends Orchestra Big Band Mambo, Palladium Style

These former members of the Tito Puente Orchestra celebrate the USA’s birthday by reviving the golden age of Latin dance. Join your neighbors on Lincoln Center’s gorgeous open-air dance floor, set just nine blocks up from where the Palladium Ballroom broke down barriers and launched a mambo craze that stretched across the states.

Dance Instructor: Marlon “International” Mills teaches Salsa
DJ: DJ Turmix


Thursday, July 5

Tanghetto - Electrotango

Club meets milonga when the popular Buenos Aires band Tanghetto takes over Damrosch Park for a night of new-wave tango. Bandoneon melodies and tango rhythms are folded into electronic beats and atmospheric lights, bringing a modern edge to the iconic Argentinian dance of seduction. It’s the perfect evening to take your first steps or level up your tango game.

Dance Instructors: Walter Perez and Leonardo Sardella teach Tango
DJ: Ilene Marder
Special dance performance by Nicole Agaronnik and Rik Daniels of American DanceWheels Foundation


Friday, July 6

Naomi & Her Handsome Devils Classic Swing

Bandleader, velvet-voiced singer, and international Lindy hop champion Naomi Uyama leads a band of some of the most talented musicians in the traditional jazz scene today. A small swing group with big band sensibilities, Naomi & Her Handsome Devils will lead you through a night of classic swing on the open-air dance floor.

Dance Instructors: Gaby Cook teaches Lindy Charleston
DJ: Lewi Gilamichael
Special performance by the Brooklyn Bombshells


Saturday, July 7

Heybale Honky Tonk, Western Swing

Heybale’s long-running Sunday night residency at Austin’s famous Continental Club is the stuff of Texas legend and now the "country superstar quintet” (Austin Chronicle) brings its brand of classic honky-tonk and roadhouse rockabilly to Damrosch Park. With members that have played with Buck Owens, Willie Nelson, and Johnny Cash, the band is beloved by everyone from tourists to celebrities, and especially dancers. Country shuffles, waltzes, and two-step are all on the menu for this big country night.

Dance Instructor: Howard Richman teaches Two-Step
DJ: Meredith Ochs                 
Presented in association with SiriusXM Willie’s Roadhouse


Tuesday, July 10

Orquesta El Macabeo Salsa

This indie big band has been shaking up the Puerto Rican dance music scene with its revolutionary brand of salsa. The 11 self-described rockeros bring the energy, humor, and sensibility of a new generation to a classic genre, while never losing sight of the ultimate mission: to get people dancing.

Dance Instructor: Addie Diaz teaches Salsa
DJ: George Nenadich
Presented in association with the Latin Alternative Music Conference


Wednesday, July 11

Brianna Thomas Band Jump Blues, Swing, Rhythm and Blues
with guest vocalist Frank Senior

With “a strong voice and a big range” (New York Times), NYC singer and bandleader Brianna Thomas draws on Bessie Smith, Ma Rainey, and other great blueswomen of the past for this soulful night. With her ace band, stellar voice, and open-hearted personality, she’s one of your best bets for achieving transcendence on the dance floor this summer.

Dance Instructors: LaTasha Barnes & Bobby White teach Lindy Hop and Vernacular Jazz
DJ: Odysseus Bailer


Thursday, July 12

Orquesta AkokánSalsa
*New York City debut

Blending vintage sound, original tunes, infectious rhythms, and endless heart, Orquesta Akokán extends the golden era of Cuban mambo to now. Following their critically acclaimed debut album on Daptone Records, power vocalist José “Pepito” Gómez and a 16-piece orchestra of Cuban music all-stars bring the spirit of old Havana to the heart of Manhattan.

Dance Instructors: Christopher Rogicki and Nayelli Valencia Turrent teach Cuban Salsa and Rueda de Casino
DJ: Ron McGugins


Friday, July 13

The James Hunter Six - Soul-blues, Rock ’n’ Roll, Rhythm and Blues

U.K. soul man James Hunter leads us back to the early days of R&B when it was “part rock ’n’ roll, part jump blues, all…swagger” (NPR). With a voice that can sigh, growl, and rip; a knack for showmanship; and a band that knows how to dig a deep groove, Hunter provides the perfect soundtrack to a hot summer night on the dance floor.

Dance Instructor: Paola Lanna teaches Swing and Shag
DJ: Rita Houston
Silent Disco DJs: Monica Sharp, Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus, and Rita Houston

After hours: Silent Disco powered by Quiet Events
At 10:00 pm, when the sound system turns off, the dance party keeps going—DJs Monica Sharp, Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus, and Rita Houston of WFUV broadcast directly to your headphones until 11:30 pm. A wireless headset is free with your ticket; $5 at the door for Silent Disco only.


Saturday, July 14

LC Kids Dance with Dancing Classrooms
3:00–4:30 pm

It’s time to move beyond dabbing and the fabulous folks from Dancing Classrooms are here to help! Bring the kids to our annual all-ages dance where they’ll learn the basics of merengue, tango, salsa, and swing before letting loose on the dance floor to high-energy tunes.

Dance Instructor: Rodney Lopez teaches Ballroom
Recommended for ages 6–10


Saturday, July 14

Harlem Renaissance Orchestra Big Band Swing
14th Annual Tribute to Illinois Jacquet
plus the Ambassador Prize Lindy Hop Dance Contest

Swing is the thing at our season finale. The Harlem Renaissance Orchestra keeps the spirit of jazz legend Illinois Jacquet alive with classic big-band tunes and blazing uptown energy. Always one of the best parties of the season, the night reaches its glorious peak when New York’s best dancers compete for the Ambassador Prize, an homage to Lindy Hop icon Frankie Manning.

Dance Instructor: Margaret Batiuchok teaches Lindy Hop
DJ: Ryan Swift
Ambassador Prize Lindy Hop Dance Contest

To enter the contest, sign up at this link https://form.jotform.us/ofortunato/ambassadorprize or in person at the entry gate. Both partners must be registered and checked in by 8:00 pm on July 14.

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All tickets and pass types go on sale today, April 26, at MidsummerNightSwing.org. Passes can be purchased with no fees until May 2, in person and online. Multi-evening Midsummer Night Swing passes are priced at $60 for four dances, $84 for six dances, and $170 for the full season. Tickets for individual evening events are $17 prior to the day of the event and $20 day-of.

Ambassador Package: For $100, a group of four will receive admission to the dance floor, free bag check for four, and one complimentary glass of wine or beer per guest.

The Swing box office is located in the lobby of David Geffen Hall at Broadway and 65th Street. Tickets for individual events and passes can be purchased in advance at the David Geffen Hall 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 MidsummerNightSwing.org.

Rain Policy: Midsummer Night Swing makes every effort to present each event of the season, as long as weather allows. Performance cancellations due to inclement weather will not be announced until 8:30 pm on show night. In the case of cancellation, ticketholders are entitled to exchange for another performance or a refund. Passholders are not entitled to a refund. If a performance has begun and is canceled after 8:30 pm, exchanges or refunds are not offered.

Silent Discos: Silent Discos, powered by Quiet Events, return to the festival on June 28 and July 13. At the Silent Discos, dancers wear wireless headphones to listen to extended DJ sets after the live music ends at 10:00 pm. On June 28, DJ Bill Coleman, Rimarkable, and Rogue will each spin sets; Monica Sharp, Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus, and WFUV’s Rita Houston will do a Silent Disco takeover on July 8. Silent Discos will continue until 11:30 pm. Wireless headsets are free with the purchase of a live show ticket or $5 at the door for the Silent Disco only, subject to capacity.


About The Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts

Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts serves three primary roles: presenter of artistic programming, national leader in arts and education and community engagement, and manager of the Lincoln Center campus. A presenter of more than 3,000 free and ticketed events, performances, tours, and educational activities annually, LCPA offers a variety of festivals and programs, including American Songbook, Avery Fisher Career Grants and Artist program, David Rubenstein Atrium programming, Great Performers, Lincoln Center Emerging Artist Awards, Lincoln Center Out of Doors, Lincoln Center Vera List Art Project, LC Kids, Midsummer Night Swing, Mostly Mozart Festival, White Light Festival, the Emmy Award–winning Live From Lincoln Center, which airs nationally on PBS, and Lincoln Center Education, which is celebrating more than four decades enriching the lives of students, educators, and lifelong learners. As manager of the Lincoln Center campus, LCPA provides support and services for the Lincoln Center complex and the 11 resident organizations: The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Film Society of Lincoln Center, Jazz at Lincoln Center, The Juilliard School, Lincoln Center Theater, The Metropolitan Opera, New York City Ballet, New York Philharmonic, The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, School of American Ballet, and Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts.

Lincoln Center has become a leading force in using new media and technology to reach and inspire a wider and global audience. Reaching audiences where they are—physically and digitally—has become a cornerstone of making the performing arts more accessible to New Yorkers and beyond. For more information, visit LincolnCenter.org.

Lincoln Center is committed to providing and improving accessibility for people with disabilities. For information, contact Accessibility at Lincoln Center at access@lincolncenter.org or 212-875-5375.

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  • Midsummer Night Swing is presented by NewYork-Presbyterian
  • Major support provided by Janice Savin Williams and Christopher J. Williams/The Williams Capital Group, LP.
  • Additional support is provided by The Shubert Foundation, The Katzenberger Foundation, Inc., 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.
  • Nespresso is the Official Coffee of Lincoln Center.
  • NewYork-Presbyterian is the Official Hospital of Lincoln Center.
  • Artist catering provided by Zabar’s and Zabars.com.

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Additional information, as well as photos and videos of the artists can be found at Lincoln Center’s Press Room: http://AboutLincolnCenter.org/Press-Room. Login or register to access.

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Media Contact:

  Desiree Naranjo       212-875-5078       dnaranjo@lincolncenter.org

  Pamela Hernandez       212-875-5363       phernandez@lincolncenter.org