Series Celebrates Social Dance and Popular Music from Around the World, including:
- Debut performance of specially created 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
Tickets on sale
NEW YORK, NY — Lincoln Center has 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 rhytms 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 rhytm 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.
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.
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