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  • About the Swing
  • About the Swing
  • About the Swing
  • About the Swing

Event details:

Ready, Set, Swing! J.H.S. 13 2011
Thu., May 26, 2011 – 3:30 PM
J.H.S. 13 Jackie Robinson School
1573 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10029
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     What exactly is swing?  The response may vary depending on who you ask.  Swing was not only a type of music but a movement of the American People.  The “Swing Era” was characterized by many different sentiments and factors such as relief from World War I, a lack of popular and exciting dance music, and also a lack of television and radio meant that the music was to be spread by word of mouth.
      Artists and musicians have always had a way of understanding sentiments of the people and an ability to create useful outlets for dealing with their problems.  When musicians recognized that the American people were looking for something new they began composing powerful dance music for big bands of more than 20 people.  The noise and the energy of the music practically forced audiences to get onto their feet and dance away the night.  Americans looking for the newest thing to do heard about swing dances from their friends and came out in numbers to dance.  People found refuge in what became America’s popular dance music –Swing!
      Many musicians aided in bring the sounds of swing to the forefront including Fletcher Henderson, Benny Goodman, Artie Shaw and perhaps the most famous American composer of all time Duke Ellington.  Equally as important to the actual music were the different dances concurrently created to match the rhythms and excitement of swing.  Famous dances such as the “Foxtrot”, the “Lindyhop”, and the “Charleston” became standard dances around America.  In part, due to the fact that the dances were a blend of European contra dance and African dance, swing was music for ALL people regardless of color or creed.
      Things to remember about the Swing Era: The bands were huge often consisting of 25 or more people; the music was powerful and energetic dance music which sparked the birth of popular dances; up until this point the majority of Americans only danced cordially to slow music such as waltzes etc.  Imaging walking into a large auditorium in Harlem back in the late 1920’s and hearing this fast and rhythm-filled music that made people jump, twirl, stomp, and laugh for the first time –what a sight!  The excitement and fun surrounding this music is still very much alive and we hope you feel the same way today.

Lineup: Alex Cowings, Andrew Klein, Carlton Holmes, Dorota Piotrowska, Jeremy Pelt,  

Performer Details:

Alex Cowings — Tap Dancer

Alex Cowings

Born on the US Virgin Island of St. Croix, this multi dimensional dancer, singer, composer and producer began his career at an early age. After receiving a special gift of tap shoes from his family, this young impresario quickly became popular on the NYC tap scene sharing the stage with the original "hoofers" of the time and Tap legends such as Peg Leg Bates, Jimmy Slide, Savion Glover and Henry Latang. Currently you can find Mr Cowings captivating audiences with concerts produced by his own Entertainment label, Jive Life Ent., Co founded and operated by Harlem native and Entrepreneur Eddy Cane.

Andrew Klein — Bass

Andrew Klein

Andrew Klein was born and raised in Detroit, Michigan. He has studied music under the tutelage of Marcus Belgrave, Harold Mckinney, Rodney Whitaker, and Ben Wolfe. After a number of successful years working rigorously on the Detroit jazz scene Andrew moved to NYC in 2007, where he attended the Juilliard school. In the time since, he has has enjoyed working regularly with some of the world's greatest jazz musicians, including Jeremy Pelt, Walter Blanding Jr., Wess Anderson, Ron Blake, Eli Digibri, and Wycliffe Gordon.

Carlton Holmes — Piano

Carlton Holmes

Carlton Holmes is a pianist of exceptional talent, musicality, and creativity. Along with extensive studio work, Carlton also composed and performed for a number of film and television productions as well as Broadway.  Carlton leads his own groups simultaneously having an extensive performing and recording history with great musicians such as Lionel Hampton, Freddie Hubbard, Kenny Garrett, Branford Marsalis, Max Roach, Stevie Wonder, and many more. 

Dorota Piotrowska — Drums

Dorota Piotrowska

Born in 1984 in Poland, Dorota Piotrowska was only introduced to jazz at the age of 17. She studied with the best teachers in Poland and in Holland where she continued her education at Conservatorium van Amsterdam and Prince Claus Conservatory in Groningen.  Since 2010, Dorota is studying with greats like Ralph Peterson, Kenny Washington, Nasheet Waits, and Gregory Hutchinson and attends The New School For Jazz and Contemporary Music. 

Jeremy Pelt — Trumpet

Jeremy Pelt
Photo by Philippe Levy-Stab

Jeremy Pelt arrived in New York in 1998 after graduating from Berklee College of Music. Once he got there, it wasn't long before he started being noticed by a lot of top musicians in the city. His first professional jazz gig was playing with the Mingus Big Band. That gig lead to many long lasting associations with many of the talent in the band, and a great opportunity for growth. Since his arrival, he has been fortunate enough to play with many of today's and yesterday's jazz luminaries, such as Jimmy Heath, Frank Wess,Charli Persip, Keter Betts, Frank Foster, John Hicks, Ravi Coltrane, Winard Harper, Vincent Herring, Ralph Peterson, Lonnie Plaxico, Cliff Barbaro, Nancy Wilson, Bobby Short, Bobby "Blue" Bland, The Skatalites, Cedar Walton, and many, many more. Jeremy has also been featured in a variety of different bands, including the Roy Hargrove Big Band, The Village Vanguard Orchestra, the Duke Ellington Big Band. Currently, he is member of the Lewis Nash Septet, and The Cannonball Adderley Legacy Band featuring Louis Hayes.

Jeremy Pelt's website
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