Y6A Highlights

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Y6A Highlights

#1 Post by Serg » Wed Oct 13, 2004 8:20 pm

Man on man. What a weekend. Congrats Shorty Dave and all who worked to make this weekend so amazing.

It is difficult to talk about all that happened, but here are some highlights:

* I spent most of the Saturday night event talking to old dancers about the old Savoy days and just listening to the band. There was this older lady on a wheel chair that spoke at the picture taking event. When I saw her at the dance, I approched her and asked her name. She introduced herself and told me that she was the daughter of Panama Francis. I spent about 20 minutes asking questions about her father. I told her that I really love the Savoy Sultans and she was impressed that us DJs knew so much about her dad. I trully magic moment.

* I am listening to the band and they start playing "I want a Little Girl". This girl ask me to dance to this Blues song. I did not think much of her the first bar of the song. However, this girl was a great Blues dancer and I had an awesome time. After the song she introduce herself as KBuxton one of our fellow board member. I was happillly surprised and delighted to have met her.

Post your experiences here.


Shorty Dave
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#2 Post by Shorty Dave » Wed Oct 13, 2004 11:24 pm

I've been trying for five days now to understand what this weekend was all about, and to put in words the personal impact - and hopefully the "springboard" (to steal Elliott's term :) ) - to what will be even greater things to come.

There's a quote from Ralph Ellison - author of Invisible Man, jazz fan and critic - that very much rings true to what Jelly Roll Productions and Yehoodi are all about: "It was when Jimmy (Rushing)'s voice began to soar with the spirit of the blues that the dancers - and the musicians - achieved that feeling of communion which was the true meaning of the public jazz dance. The blues, the singer, the band and the dancers formed the vital whole of jazz as an institutional form, and even today neither part is quite complete without the rest. The thinness of much of so called ‘modern jazz’ is especially reflective of this loss of wholeness, and it is quite possible that Rushing retains his vitality simply because he has kept close to the small Negro public dance."

The evening fully celebrated Count Basie’s spirit and legacy. Mr. Basie had the ability to bring people together, and that is exactly what happened. The afternoon featured the "Great Day in Lindy" photo shoot and a reception that reunited all the great, old time lindy hoppers. The panel discussion before the Ball reunited many people who were personally close to Mr. Basie, incuding musicians in his band, the author of his autobiography, and his son. Last but not least, the Ball itself reunited the music with the dancing, just like it was "back in the day." It was great to witness jazz fans and musicians hanging out in the audience with the lindy hop dancers, and the dancers enjoying the company of the non-dancing crowd, bringing us one step closer to reuniting the community.

Whether the band's songs were longer than one may have hoped, or whether the dance floor was more crowded than one may have hoped, or whether "xyz" didn't happen, really didn't matter on Saturday (although on any other day I'd be first in line to complain), because there was a special vibe all day long of being part of this larger community: a larger dance community (through the old timers and the 14 countries in attendance) and a larger jazz community (through all the jazz musicians and fans that just came to hang out and celebrate Mr. Basie with us). I mean come on, Clark Terry sang Mumbles! Three of the most accomplished jazz producers/promoters ever, George Wein, George Avakian, and Phil Schaap, all spoke at one point in the evening. And how histerical was it to see Norma Miller jump into Frankie's lap! And even Friday late night with a kick ass prelim competition immediately followed by an informal jam of some of NYC's best musicians. The list goes on and on...

I guess having been a lindy hopper for about 6 years now, it's this feeling of community that has kept me in the scene for so long. And despite any burnout feelings I may get from time to time about lindy, it's moments like Saturday that make me all the more excited to see where the future of lindy and jazz are headed. (And I can't wait for the time when saying the future of "lindy and jazz" is being redundant.)

And of course, this all goes back to Count Basie. Benny Powell said "Count Basie continues to bless me everyday", and indeed he blessed the whole jazz community this weekend.