“Midsummer Night Swing heats up Damrosch Park with the rhythms that keep New York dancing. This year brings out the very best of swing, salsa, soul, tango, rockabilly, and much more, showcasing some of the finest musicians and DJs from this country and abroad. For dance fanatics, enthusiastic beginners, and everyone in between, Midsummer Night Swing is the city’s hot spot for three weeks in July.” Bill Bragin
Southern-tinged highlights include:
Tuesday, July 7
Kermit Ruffins & the Barbecue Swingers
New Orleans Jazz, Small Band Swing
Kermit Ruffins plays New Orleans jazz with all the swing and swagger of the late, great Louis Armstrong. His sweet horn blows jazz, funk, and standards that reflect the big brass tradition of his beloved city. Charismatic and confident, Kermit Ruffins and his band really cook – in every sense of the word – as he serves up hot barbecue as well as cool music at his restaurant & club in The Big Easy.
Thursday, July 16
Ponderosa Stomp: The Get Down
Feat. William Bell, Harvey Scales, and The Bobbettes with The Bo-Keys
Soul/R&B Soul, R&B, Funk
New Orleans’ renowned music revue, the Ponderosa Stomp, decamps to New York for several nights of great live music. The first night will showcase Stax/Volt recording artist and songwriter William Bell, whose strong yet smooth voice sang “You Don’t Miss Your Water,” among other R&B classics. Harvey (“Disco Lady”) Scales, also on the bill, has been active since the 60s. He credits James Brown’s funk as being a major influence on his music. The third headliner will be The Bobbettes, the first all-female R&B group to have a major pop hit record with “Mr. Lee.” All three acts will perform with those champions of the Memphis soul sound, The Bo-Keys.
Friday, July 17
Ponderosa Stomp: The Best Dance in Town
Featuring Joe Clay, Carl Mann, and The Collins Kids
with Deke Dickerson & The Eccofonics
Night two of Ponderosa Stomp will celebrate with a night of rockabilly starting with singer Joe Clay. Clay, a contemporary of Elvis Presley’s who mined the same rock, R&B, and blues roots, had some early hits before being rediscovered in the 1980s by British audiences. Carl Mann, singer and pianist, is an alum of Sun Records (as was Presley) who recorded a rockabilly version of Nat King Cole’s “Mona Lisa”, among other songs, that have fanatic fans to this day. The Collins Kids were juvenile rockabilly stars in the 1950s, singing hits aimed at a young audience. Larry Collins was a lightning-fingered double-neck guitar whiz from the age of 10, and the brother and sister (Lorrie) still perform together. All three acts will perform with Deke Dickerson & The Eccofonics, one of America’s foremost purveyors of roots music.
Sunday, July 19
Ponderosa Stomp Part 3: Lincoln Center Festival presents a Tribute to Wardell Quezergue, the composer/arranger responsible for shaping southern music and the soulful sounds of the Mississippi delta and New Orleans into giant hits.
Tickets are on sale now…