I have had a great weekend participating in and organizing the Sweden Balboa Weekend 2008. Great classes, great people who came here, fun dancing in the evenings.
I'll post more about the weekend later on but first I want to show you the final in the Jack 'n' Jill balboa competition. Congratulations to Jessica Håll (Stockholm) and Ari Halinen (Finland) who won. Ari also won the SBW Jack & Jill last year.
The very last song was played by the band of the night: The Canal Street Syncopators.
Were you at Sweden Balboa Weekend 2008? What do you think of the weekend? Please comment.
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Friday, September 26, 2008
Sweden Balboa Weekend starts tonight. It'll be three days packed with lots of fun and lots of hard work.
We have a great lineup of teachers: Peter Loggins and Mia Goldsmith; Laura Keat & Jeremy Otth; Kate Hedin & David Rehm and Joana Ekeström and Andreas Olsson. I really looking forward to learn from them.
People are coming in from Denmark, Finland, France and Russia. It's great to see that the camp is becoming more and more international.
It's also really exciting that the weekend is fully booked. But there's still a chance to get into the dances at night if you volunteer during the weekend. If you're interested you should talk to the organizers at the registration desk tonight at Drabanten.
I hope to see you during the weekend.
Will you be attending Sweden Balboa Weekend? Please comment.
Thursday, September 25, 2008
Tuesday night I dj:ed at the weekly dance event Cats Corner that has continued at GH nation this semester. The djing went well I think (please tell me what you thought of it).
A new place always means that things work a little bit different, it also means that things doesn't work in different ways. We've had some technical challenges but I think we have solved them now. This is where experience comes in handy: You know that something almost certainly will happen, but hopefully you have solved the problem before and it can easily be taken care of.
I've been involved in arranging events ever since Swingkatten, our dance organisation, started seven years ago. I'm one of the go-to guys when it comes to technical issues.
I've started to write "brain dumps" so that more people get to know how to do technical stuff. My main goal in Swingkatten in the coming year will be to educate people on technical issues.
I think it's important to have a large group of people that are available to arrange events. It's dangerous to rely on only a few people. What if someone disappears from the scene for one reason or another? You also avoid people getting burned out from doing too much work.
Everybody has their favorite way of doing things. In Swingkatten we've had the principle: "If you make things happen, you get to do it the way you like it".
Obviously, everyone can't completly agree about how things are done. That brings us to the other side of the principle: "If you like things done your way, you got to make things happen". Get involved! More people means more variety.
Over the the last couple of years I've implemented the plan that Swingkatten should have technical equipment to be able to independently arrange events. We have almost reached that goal and that feels great. Only a few things are lacking.
So now the challenge is to make use of all this equipment. The next step is to educate people. Setting up equipment is not that hard that it may seem. We need to set up some form of apprentice program. Have you done anything like that? I'd like to hear how you did it.
The photos in this post are taken by me at an impromtu jam session at Cats Corner. The photos may not be published elsewhere without my permission. Contact me if you want to buy or license them.
Would you like to be an apprentice? Please comment.
I have a list of videos with video clips that I written about but that has since then disappeared from Youtube.
That list has become a little shorter when I yesterday refound the gem where Firehouse Five Plus Two plays Tiger Rag.
If you have some extra time, please help me hunt down the other missing video clips on my list.
I also want to remind you that if you are a Facebook user, you can become a fan of the Swing, Jazz & Blues blog.
Monday, September 22, 2008
Western swing isn't a style that I feature very often on the blog but here is a nice version of "It's a Sin to Tell a Lie" by The Quebe Sisters Band. The sisters; Grace, Sophia and Hulda; plays fiddle and sings in harmony.
"It's a Sin to Tell a Lie" was written in 1936 by Billy Mayhew and the most played versions of the song are probably by Fats Waller. I can't find much information about Billy Mayhew, can anyone help me?
Listen to Fats Waller's version.
What do you think of The Quebe Sisters Band? Please comment.
Sunday, September 21, 2008
Here is a version of the song Charleston performed by Enoch Light & The Light Brigade from the album Big Hits of the 20s from 1971.
Enoch Light was one of the first musicians to really take advantage of stereo recording. He recorded all kinds of music but to me the most interesting music is his recordings of songs written in the 1920s-1940s.
Some of his other recordings are *cough* a bit obscure. Just listen to "I want to be happy cha cha", its very far from how the young Ella Fitzgerald sung it.
Take a look at this site to learn more about Enoch Light.
What do you think about the version of Charleston by Enoch Light? Please comment.
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Makin' Whoopee is a song that seems to invite the artists too have fun with it. Here is three examples. Above is a video clip of Peggy Lee and Toots Thielemans playing with Makin' Whoopee. On a musical side note: It's worth mentioning that Toots plays usually play a chromatic harmonica and not a blues harmonica.
The second example of Makin' Whoopee is by Eddie Cantor. Eddie Cantor makes this the eyerolling version of the song, complete with some chorus girls.
I saved the best for last: You can't but smile when you see Shirley Bassey and Henri Salvador singing Makin' Whoopee. There seems to be such affection between them.What do you think of the three version of Makin' Whoopee?
Which one is your favorite? Please comment.
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
Tonight it's autumn season premiere for Cats' corner, the weekly dance that Swingkatten arranges.
This season the dance will take place Tuesdays at the ballroom at Gästrike-Hälsingland nation located at Trädgårdsgatan 9.
Jonas Pettersson will be the swing dj tonight.
Welcome to a night of fabulous dancing!
What do you think of the new location of Cats' Corner? Please comment.
Monday, September 8, 2008
The September episode of the podcast Hey Mister Jesse is just released. This time the show recorded live at the lindy hop camp Swing Out New Hampshire.
Hey Mr Jesse is a great monthly podcast where the swing djs Jesse Miner and Manu 'Spuds' Smith talk about swingin' music that matters to dancers. Take a look at what is in the show: read the show notes for Hey Mister Jesse September 2008.
Download the September 2008 episode of Hey Mister Jesse. (~50 MB, mp3)
I have some things from the podcast I'd like to comment on:
First of all, Jesse was spot on that the source of the my tip about Calvin Boze in the August episode was from the MP3 blog Be Bop Vino.
Just like Jesse I have mixed feelings about MP3 blogs and I wasn't sure if I should name it as a source so I stayed on the safe(?) side and didn't mention it.
But now that the cat is out of the bag, it's only fair that you, my blog readers, should know about it too: Take a look at the Calvin Boze album: "Havin' A Ball" at Be Bop Vino. Be Bop Vino is a great blog that gives you tips about jazz and blues artists.
Secondly, the September podcast features a good interview with swing dj Rayned Wiles about the photograph "A Great Day in Harlem" by Art Kane. Rayned has prepared a 8 hour (!) show on Yehoodi radio featuring all the jazz musicians in the photograph. I just have to say: wow.
I've had the idea of blogging about that photo since I first started blogging but never got around to do it, so this is a perfect time to at least mention some things about it.
In addition to listening to Rayned's radio show you should see the documentary "A Great Day in Harlem" where you get all kinds of stories about the making of the photograph. You can borrow it at the Uppsala City Library if you like or buy the documentary from Amazon.com.
There are much more in the show but at last I want to mention that Bernard Berkhout and his orchestra has made some video clips available on Youtube. Great stuff. The video clip in the beginning of this post is the song House Hop.
What do you think of the September edition of Hey Mr Jesse? Please comment.
Saturday, September 6, 2008
At tonight's dance at Swedish Swing Society I'll have company by a friend and fellow dj from Uppsala: Trina Dobbs, although she will not dj but instead sell shoes.
Trina has started a buisness where she sells stylish vintage style shoes that are good for swing dancing. But you don't have to be a dancer, you can just be fan of the retro style.
Check out Trina Dobbs vintage style shoes at Jigwalk.com.
What kind of shoes do you use for swing dancing? What are your favorite brands? Please comment.
The photo is taken by me and may not be published elsewhere without my permission. Contact me if you want to license or buy it.
Friday, September 5, 2008
Tomorrow, I'm proud to be djing swing at a dance organized by Swedish Swing Society, one of the dance clubs in Stockholm.
The evening starts at 20 with a introduction to the jazz routine Jitterbug stroll. At 21 there will be a Shag performance as a teaser for the coming "Stockholm Collegiate Shag Weekend" and then I'll be djing until midnight.
Join me for a fun night of dancing tomorrow!
Swedish Swing Society is located at Igeldammsgatan 22C (Uppgång 2). Nearest subway station is Fridhemsplan (exit Mariebergsgatan).
Is there any song in particular that you would like to hear tomorrow? Please comment.