[Dixielandjazz] Lincoln Center...and the Basie Centennial

acjspres at aol.com acjspres at aol.com
Fri Oct 15 13:27:10 PDT 2004

I took a good look at the Lincoln Center Facility last weekend....it is  
indeed impressive. 
I was in New York for the Count Basie Centennial Celebration with some  
wonderful musicians and hundreds of Lindy Hoppers. The Sat Night dance at  Columbia 
University had 1200 Lindy Hoppers from all over the world...including 8  from 
AZ that we play for regularly.  The band was Frank Fosters Swing  band...with 
special guest artists......Clark Terry, Frand Wess, Benny Powell,  Dennis 
Rowland, Barbara Morrison and Irene Reid.
The Friday night dance had the Harlem Renaissance Orchestra. There  were 
workshops, panel discussions as well as 6 dances with wonderful bands  playing a 
lot of Basies music in addition to their normal fare. One of the  dances was at 
the band shell in Central Park on Sunday afternoon.
We were in a photo on the steps of the Columbia University Library inspired  
by the 1958 photo by Art Kane of over 50 jazz greats on the steps of a  
brownstone. Our photo included all of the great lindy hoppers from the 30's who  
invented this style of dancing at the Savoy Ballroom in Haarlem and who were  
there when Count Basie blew the Chick Web Band away in a "battle of the bands".  
Many of these dancers had not seen each other in years....it was a very 
special  event for them (and us).
There was also the "Hells a Poppin" Lindy Hop championship competition. The  
best Lindy Hoppers from all around the world were there competing......it was 
a  very special weekend that I will never forget.
Joe Hopkins

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