Lincoln Center Announces Midsummer Night Swing 2017, June 27 – July 15
May 9, 2017
Presenting 15 evenings of social dance that reflect the diversity of New York City, featuring The Legendary Count Basie Orchestra, Binky Griptite, Loser’s Lounge, Harlem Renaissance Orchestra, Joe Bataan, Don Perignon y La Puertorriqueña, and others
Evening and special screening dedicated to cabaret singer and swing regular
Texas Dance Hall Tour and Nu Disco bands and DJs
make their festival debuts
Silent Discos return for fifth-straight year
Tickets on sale today, May 9
Lincoln Center’s premier summer dance party Midsummer Night Swing today announced its 2017 season, running June 27 to July 15. Now in its 29th year, the series presents 15 evenings of social dance under the stars, featuring a lineup of artists who reflect the diversity of New York City.
“For three weeks every summer, Damrosch Park transforms into New York City’s dance floor, bringing together people of all skill levels, ages, and ethnicities,” says Jill Sternheimer, Director of Public Programming for Lincoln Center. “The beauty of Midsummer Night Swing is that the dancers on the floor, whether they’re beginners or long-time aficionados, are as much of the art as the musicians on stage. Night after night, we’re thrilled to be able to foster a community through the joy of music and dance.”
The season opens on June 27 with a rousing evening of big band swing courtesy of The Legendary Count Basie Orchestra, featuring trumpet virtuoso Scotty Barnhart and guest vocalist Carmen Bradford, and it closes with the Harlem Renaissance Orchestra and The Ambassador Prize Lindy Hop Dance contest. Salsa, disco, ballroom, rhythm and blues, jazz, boogaloo, nu disco, tango, and Western swing will also be featured throughout the summer.
This year’s lineup includes Binky Griptite, the late Sharon Jones’s bandleader, and his orchestra in an evening of blues (July 1); Margi & the Dapper Dots presiding over the foxtrot, waltz, and other ballroom staples (June 30); David Ostwald’s Louis Armstrong Eternity Band headlining a special July 4th soiree; and Michael Gamble and the Rhythm Serenaders’ take on 1930s and 40s era swing (July 12).
A celebration of Dawn Hampton, a cabaret singer, saxophonist, and leader of New York City’s swing community who passed away in 2016, will be devoted to big band swing and blues on July 6. Hampton’s pals, Ron Sunshine and his Orchestra and The George Gee Swing Orchestra, will join in this tribute. The night before the festival opens The Lady’s Lost Performance: Dawn Hampton’s Life Is What You Make It, will be screened for the first time at the Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center Amphitheater at the Film Society of Lincoln Center on June 26 at 7:00 pm.
This year’s popular Latin nights feature local legends as well as bands from across the Americas, including big band salsa with Don Perignon y La Puertorriqueña, from Puerto Rico (June 28) and Cuba’s Issac Delgado Orchestra (July 5); “King of Latin Soul” Joe Bataan from East Harlem (July 7); Bronx-born Eddie Montalvo, a Grammy-nominated conguero (July 11); and the Astoria-based Aces of Rhythm who carry on the traditions of the Argentinian tango (July 13).
For the first time since 2010, Texas two-step and Western swing come to Midsummer Night Swing courtesy of Dale Watson and Ray Benson. Benson, the frontman of Asleep at the Wheel, also helped originate the Texas Dance Hall Tour that helps preserve the honky-tonk tradition across the state (July 14). In conjunction, Deb Fleming, president of Texas Dance Hall Preservation, Inc. will talk about this inimitable culture at the Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center Amphitheater on July 13 at 6:30 pm.
The Loser’s Lounge returns to Midsummer Night Swing on June 29 with bandleader Joe McGinty on the keyboards and a collection of solid gold hits. On July 8, Nu Disco LIVE provides original indie-disco grooves from DJs Tommie Sunshine and The Golden Pony as well as Brooklyn-based bands Body Language and French Horn Rebellion, with guest vocalist Megan Vice. Both events will be followed by Silent Discos, streaming music from top DJs directly into individual headphones, from 10 to 11:30 pm.
For the youngest Lindy hoppers and tango twosomes, LC Kids and Dancing Classrooms will host their annual dance for kids 6 to 10 years old on July 15 from 3:00 to 4:30 pm.
“As the official hospital of Lincoln Center, NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital is proud to once again join in presenting this year’s Midsummer Night’s Swing,” said Dr. Steven J. Corwin, president and CEO, NewYork-Presbyterian. “As institutions, we share a common commitment to enriching the lives of New Yorkers through wellness and the arts.”
Each evening of Midsummer Night Swing is a ticketed event, beginning at 6:30 pm with a dance lesson for people of all skill levels by some of New York’s foremost instructors. Lessons are included in the price of admission. Live music begins at 7:30 pm and lasts until 10:00 pm, except on June 28 and July 9 when Silent Disco extends the party until 11:30 pm.
Tickets and passes go on sale today, May 9. Multi-evening Midsummer Night Swing Passes are priced at $84 for six dances and $170 for the full season. Four dance passes are available for $60. Tickets for individual evening events are $17 prior to the day of the event and $20 day of.
Dance 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 cancelled after 8:30 pm, exchanges or refunds are not offered.
Silent Discos: For the fifth straight season, Silent Discos, powered by Quiet Events, return to the festival on June 29 and July 8. At the Silent Discos, dancers wear wireless headphones to listen to extended DJ sets after the live music ends at 10:00 pm. Unbeknownst to casual observers, the dancers are participating in an exhilarating private dance party conducted in public and fueled by the wirelessly transmitted beats. On June 29, Bill Coleman, DJ Rimarkable, and WFUV’s Rita Houston will spin sets; JD Samson, Tommie Sunshine, and Black Stereo Faith, featuring Ultra Naté and Quentin Harris, take over the controls on July 9. 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.
Midsummer Night Swing 2017 Schedule
Tuesday, June 27
The Legendary Count Basie Orchestra
Style: Big Band Swing
Founded in Kansas City in 1935, the Legendary Count Basie Orchestra has been carrying on the legacy of the jazz icon and his swinging sound for decades, having won 20 Grammy Awards. Currently led by trumpet virtuoso Scotty Barnhart, who has performed with the ensemble for more than 20 years, the orchestra continues to be an ambassador of big band swing around the world. Guest vocalist Carmen Bradford, who was discovered and hired by Count Basie himself, joins for a rousing kickoff to this year’s festival.
The Count Basie Orchestra mark appears under license from the William J. Basie Trust.
Dance Instructor: Akemi Kinukawa teaches Lindy hop
DJ: Odysseus Bailer
Wednesday, June 28
Don Perignon y La Puertorriqueña
For more than 40 years—30 with his Puerto Rico–based orchestra—timbalero extraordinaire Don Perignon (so-called for his prowess on the timbale drums) has been a favorite among salsa dancers and listeners alike. Known for its tight rhythm section and invigorating vocal arrangements, the orchestra boasts one of the most devoted followings among salsa dancers on its native island. It’s 2011 release, 30 Aniversario A Otro Nivel, was nominated for a Billboard Award.
Dance Instructor: Marlon “International” Mills teaches salsa.
DJ: DJ Mar Y Soul
Thursday, June 29
The Loser’s Lounge: DISCO!
Known for its distinctive tributes and covers spanning the 60s through the 90s, Loser’s Lounge takes aim at the solid-gold disco era for a night of hustle and more. Keyboardist and bandleader Joe McGinty augments the downtown favorite, with horns and strings for a boisterous night. Featured on The Daily Show, NPR, and numerous publications, including The New York Times, New Yorker, Rolling Stone, and Spin Magazine, the Loser’s Lounge will infect this Thursday night crowd with Saturday Night Fever, which continues from 10:00 to 11:30 pm with Silent Disco.
Dance Instructor: Ron Rosario teaches the hustle.
DJ: DJ Bill Coleman
After hours Silent Disco, powered by Quiet Events
DJs: DJ Bill Coleman, DJ Rimarkable, and Rita Houston
Friday, June 30
Margi & the Dapper Dots
Brooklyn-based band Margi & the Dapper Dots makes its Lincoln Center debut bringing a sultry polish to golden age classics by Irving Berlin, George Gershwin, Cole Porter, and others. Harkening back to Tin Pan Alley and Old Hollywood, these New York veterans are regulars at the Metropolitan Room, Mezzrow Jazz Club, and The New York Swing Dance Society and will croon out tunes for waltzing, foxtrotting, cha-cha, and more into the night. Principal dancer James Whiteside and soloist Cassandra Trenary, both from the American Ballet Theatre, will join the evening to perform a romantic pas de deux.
Dance Instructors: Jerry Feldman and Celia Gianfrancesco teach foxtrot and waltz.
DJ: Gene Eagle
Saturday, July 1
An Evening of Swingin’ Rhythm and Blues with The Binky Griptite Orchestra
Style: Jump Blues, Rhythm and Blues
Singer, songwriter, and producer Binky Griptite is best known as the guitarist and emcee for the late Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings. This year, he comes to Midsummer Night Swing as leader of his own Rhythm and Blues orchestra, built specifically to pack the dance floor. “If people are sitting down, then that’s a problem,” he told the Village Voice. Binky and friends will keep the crowd stepping with their new old school blend of funk, blues, and soul.
Dance Instructors: John and Shoshana Krieger-Joven teach blues dancing.
DJ: Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus
Tuesday, July 4
David Ostwald's Louis Armstrong Eternity Band
Style: Classic Swing, Jazz
Louis Armstrong famously celebrated July 4 as his birthday (it actually was August 4). Midsummer Night Swing will celebrate his adopted date of birth as well as Independence Day with Grammy Award–nominee David Ostwald and company. Co-presented by the Louis Armstrong House Museum, the evening will celebrate icons of jazz with works by Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Jelly Roll Morton, and Bix Beiderbecke. Attendees will also enjoy a performance by the winner of the Intrepid: Battle of the Big Bands group dance contest.
Dance Instructor: Lainey Silver teaches Lindy hop.
DJ: DJ Va Va Voon
Wednesday, July 5
Issac Delgado Orchestra
Nicknamed “El Chevere de la Salsa,” Issac Delgado returns to Lincoln Center for the third time, following performances in 1997 and 2002. Though the orchestra has been together for more than 25 years—known for its infectious melodies, driving Afro-Cuban rhythms, brilliant horn section, and legendary improv breaks—Delgado rose to fame in the late 80s as the lead vocalist of NG La Banda, considered the first timba band.
Dance Instructor: Jimmy Anton teaches salsa.
DJ: DJ Broadway
Thursday, July 6
A Celebration of Dawn Hampton with Ron Sunshine and his Orchestra and The George Gee Swing Orchestra
Style: Big Band Swing, Big Band Blues
This special evening celebrates the life of long-time friend of Midsummer Night Swing, Dawn Hampton, who passed away in 2016. Hampton—a saxophonist, and cabaret and jazz singer before she became a regular among New York City’s swing community—will be commemorated by her good pals, Ron Sunshine and his Orchestra and the 17-piece George Gee Swing Orchestra who will undoubtedly be inspired by Hampton’s advice: “let the music move you.”
Dance Instructor: Heather Flock teaches Lindy hop.
DJ: DJ Tomo Tanaka
On June 26 at 7:00 pm, a screening of The Lady's Lost Performance: Dawn Hampton's Life is What You Make It, rare live performance footage of the artist at the mic, will take place at Film Society of Lincoln Center’s Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center Amphitheater, 144 West 65th Street.
Friday, July 7
Style: Boogaloo, Latin Soul
Known as the “King of Latin soul,” Joe Bataan is riding a wave of renewed popularity in the wake of the acclaimed documentary film We Like It Like That: The Story of Latin Boogaloo. The East Harlem–raised Boogaloo pioneer brings his “doo-wop-tinged Latin soul songs” to the stage for an evening that celebrates this uniquely New York dance music.
Dance Instructor: Frankie Martinez teaches cha cha and boogaloo.
DJ: DJ Turmix
Saturday, July 8
Nu Disco LIVE!
with performances by DJs Tommie Sunshine, The Golden Pony, Body Language and French Horn Rebellion, featuring guest vocalist Megan Vice
Style: Nu Disco
DJs Tommie Sunshine and The Golden Pony kick off this evening with a combination of remixed classics and original beats. They’re followed by a pair of Brooklyn-based bands, Body Language and French Horn Rebellion, who meld disco, dance, electro, rock, and funk. They are joined by the genre-bending vocalist Megan Vice, who brings equal parts “glam and grit” to the evening’s lineup. Tommie Sunshine returns along with DJs JD Samson and Black Stereo Faith for the Silent Disco afterparty.
Dance Instructor: Edie Nightcrawler teaches indie
DJs: Tommie Sunshine and The Golden Pony
After hours Silent Disco powered by Quiet Events
Silent Disco DJs: JD Samson, Tommie Sunshine, and Black Stereo Faith, featuring Ultra Naté and Quentin Harris
Tuesday, July 11
Grammy-nominee Eddie Montalvo started keeping rhythms on the bongos as a five year old growing up in the Bronx. Eventually transitioning to the congas, he backed superstars Celia Cruz, Héctor Lavoe, Willie Colón, and Johnny Pacheco, and, in 1979, became the youngest member of the Fania All Stars. Montalvo’s most recent solo album, Desde Nueva York a Puerto Rico, was nominated for a Grammy for Best Tropical Latin Album category. For this special evening, Montalvo is joined by iconic composer, arranger, and trumpet player Humberto Ramírez, for an innovative take on big-band Latin dance.
Dance Instructor: Carlos König teaches salsa.
DJ: DJ Brian
Wednesday, July 12
Michael Gamble and the Rhythm Serenaders
Style: 1930s–40s Small Group Swing
International swing scene veteran and Lindy Focus festival founder Michael Gamble, makes his Midsummer Night Swing debut with the Rhythm Serenaders from Asheville, North Carolina. This all-star lineup—including Jonathan Stout on guitar and Laura Windley on vocals—brings lively arrangements of favorite dance tunes and American songbook classics from the 1930s and 40s made famous by Artie Shaw, Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Billie Holliday, and others.
Dance Instructors: Nathan & Gaby teach Lindy hop.
DJ: Ryan Mascaro
Thursday, July 13
The Aces of Rhythm: Hardcore Tango
Directed by Astoria Tango Orchestra’s Pablo Aslan, Aces of Rhythm transforms Damrosch Park into an outdoor milonga worthy of Buenos Aires. Inspired by the innovative style of legendary Argentinian bandleader Juan D’Arienzo, known as “El Rey del Compás” (“the King of the beat”), Aslan will provide the passionate soundtrack necessary for this sensual dance.
Dance Instructors: Pablo Pugliese and Noel Strazza teach Argentine tango.
DJ: Mark Sakowski
Friday, July 14
Texas Dance Hall Tour with Dale Watson & Ray Benson
Style: Honky Tonk
For the first time in nearly a decade, Texas two-step and Western swing make an appearance at the festival. The evening is an extension of the Texas Dance Hall Tour, which was created to celebrate the remaining rustic wood-floored halls that house Texas’s unique music, culture, and history. Ray Benson, leader of the seminal Western swing band Asleep at the Wheel as well as an originator of the Tour, and veteran singer and guitarist Dale Watson each played honky tonks and beer joints across the States and invoke the music of Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard, Buck Owens, and more.
Dance Instructor: Susanna Stein teaches two-step and waltz.
DJ: Meredith Ochs
On July 13 at 6:30 pm, Deb Fleming, president of Texas Dance Hall Tour, will lead a discussion about preservations efforts around the state’s dance hall culture at Film Society of Lincoln Center’s Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center Amphitheater, 144 West 65th Street.
Saturday, July 15
Harlem Renaissance Orchestra 13th Annual Tribute to Illinois Jacquet
and The Ambassador Prize Lindy Hop Dance Contest
Style: Big Band Swing
Always one of the most popular parties of New York City’s summer, Midsummer Night Swing culminates with an evening of all-out swing provided by the Harlem Renaissance Orchestra. Guardians of Harlem’s jazz scene past for two decades, the Orchestra summons the spirit of tenor saxophone legend Illinois Jacquet, who performed with Lionel Hampton, Cab Calloway, Count Basie, and many other legends before his death in 2004. High-octane renditions of tunes by the Count, the Duke, and Jacquet himself, will set the mood as New York’s best dancers face off for the Ambassador Prize, an homage to Lindy Hop icon Frankie Manning.
Dance Instructor: Margaret Batiuchok teaches Lindy hop.
DJ: Ryan Swift
Saturday, July 15
LC Kids Dance with Dancing Classrooms
Our popular annual LC Kids Dance, led by the visionary folks behind the social-emotional learning program Dancing Classrooms, invites dancers of all ages to learn a few merengue, tango, salsa, and swing steps during this afternoon of family fun set to music.
Dance Instructor: Rodney Lopez teaches ballroom
Recommended for ages 6–10
LC Kids is presented by NewYork-Presbyterian
Generous support is also provided by Barbara and James Block, Joseph Bae and Janice Lee, Amanda and John Waldron, The Robertson Family, and Joseph M. Cohen.
All programs and artists subject to change.
About The Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts
Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts (LCPA) 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 16 series, festivals, and programs including American Songbook, Avery Fisher Career Grants and Artist program, David Rubenstein Atrium programming, Great Performers, Legends at Lincoln Center: The Performing Arts Hall of Fame, Lincoln Center at the Movies, Lincoln Center Emerging Artist Awards, Lincoln Center Festival, Lincoln Center Out of Doors, Lincoln Center Vera List Art Project, 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 40 years 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, The 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, the School of American Ballet, and Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. For more information, visit LincolnCenter.org.
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- Midsummer Night Swing 2017 is presented by NewYork-Presbyterian
- Midsummer Night Swing is made possible in part by Janice Savin Williams and Christopher J. Williams/The Williams Capital Group, LP
- Additional support for Midsummer Night Swing is provided by 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
- American Airlines is the Official Airline of Lincoln Center
- Nespresso is the Official Coffee of Lincoln Center
- NewYork-Presbyterian is the Official Hospital of Lincoln Center
- MetLife is the National Sponsor of Lincoln Center
- “Summer at Lincoln Center” is supported by Diet Pepsi
- 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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