Aurora Nealand courtesy of the artist
Various venues, Seattle
From July 13 through 15, the Savoy Swing Club, Seattle’s non-profit organization dedicated to vintage swing dance, presents the 2018 Seattle Lindy Extravaganza, a swing dance event celebrating the history and practice of vernacular jazz in our modern-day society. The weekend features some of the best bands, venues, dances, competitions, and classes right in the heart of Seattle.
The Savoy Swing Club seeks to tap into the alchemy of inspiration that was present at the Savoy Ballroom in Harlem for the very first swing outs. Over the weekend, participants will have the opportunity to learn from a diverse variety of teachers focusing on different aspects of dance and movement ranging from the classic Lindy hop to house, trap, and hip-hop.
In addition to the classes, the weekend will be host to top tier musicians, including Casey MacGill, Jen Hodge, Aurora Nealand, Gail Pettis, Rebecca Kilgore, Marina Albero, Ben Hunter, Joe Seamons, and many more. A competitive bonus for weekend pass holders only, the event holds competitions every night.
On Friday night, Vancouver-based bass player, bandleader, vocalist, and arranger Jen Hodge leads her All-Star band for the opening night dance. Hodge is a versatile musician who can be found playing with a wide variety of artists all over the world. With her at the helm, expect hard-swinging grooves, boisterous New Orleans-style horns, intriguing arrangements, and plenty of spontaneous fun.
Following an afternoon of classes, a jazz jam, and “swingeroke” at the Russian Center, on Saturday night, attendees are invited to wear sparkles, flowers, twigs, and vines for the Midsummer Ball, a magical evening complete with music by the Extravaganza Superstars, featuring New Orleans-based multi-instrumentalist Aurora Nealand, Oregon Music Hall of Fame vocalist Rebecca Kilgore, masterful pianist Marina Albero, and bassist Jen Hodge. Then, head over to Salsa Con Todo for a late-night dance to Lindy, blues, and balboa music.
Sunday afternoon features a free outdoor dance with the Washboard Cutups at Westlake Park. Formed by Seattle percussionist and singer Mike Daugherty, the Washboard Cutups is a Prohibition Era-style band that blues, stomps, rags, and early jazz, and includes Bert Barr (cornet), Dave Loomis (trombone), Kevin Johnston (banjo), and Taylor Kent (bass, tuba).
Sunday night at Century Ballroom closes the Extravaganza with a bang, as the ever-present Seattle swing legend Casey MacGill leads the SLX Honeydrippers in a performance featuring early blues, swing, jump, R&B, and more. He is joined by a top-flight team including: New Orleans-based multi-instrumentalist Aurora Nealand; beloved vocalist Gail Pettis; early Americana-folk-bluesmen Ben Hunter and Joe Seamons; renowned clarinetist, saxophonist, composer, and arranger Jonathan Doyle; talented saxophonist, composer, and educator Jacob Zimmerman; bassist, and a regular in Casey MacGill’s trio, Matt Weiner; and the always-groovin’ Seattle-based drummer, D’Vonne Lewis.
This is an action-packed weekend vintage swing dancers and music lovers do not want to miss.
For more information on the Seattle Lindy Extravaganza, including full schedule and how to register, visit savoyswing.org.
The Seattle Lindy Extravaganza and its host, the Savoy Swing Club, are committed to equity, diversity, inclusion, and to making the dance floor and our city’s scene a safe and respectful community. Read more about its safe space policy online at savoyswing.org/conduct.
–Ed., courtesy of Savoy Swing Club