[Dixielandjazz] Swing Dancers & Young Audiences

Steve Barbone barbonestreet at earthlink.net
Mon Oct 23 13:20:05 PDT 2006

acjspres at aol.com wrote (polite snip)
> I could not disagree more with Steve....our Lindy Hoppers here in the
> Phoenix area long for the good old days at the Savoy Ballroom with Chick Webb
> and 
> his guys along with all the bands of that era. They are less interested in
> "Cherry Poppin Daddys" and the like. They bring Frankie Manning to Phoenix
> for a 
> workshop every year and the place is packed when they schedule  Frankie to
> simply sit on stage and reminisce about the 20's and 30's at the  Savoy
> ballroom in New York.

I agree with Joe, swing dancers love the music of the old days, Chick Webb,
Frankie Manning and The Savoy. And they love my stories about the few times
I played at the Savoy before they tore it down. And they want real swing,
not the pseudo swing that is foisted by many of today's "swing" bands.

But then, swing dancers are a relatively small, niche, part of the YOUNG
MASS AUDIENCE I just posted about. The vast majority of today's kids, could
care less about the good old days Joe references. That was my point.

However, happy days are here again now that bands like the Boondockers and
Fulton Street have discovered swing dancers.

That niche audience has been around since the 1980s. Starting in California.
It was pretty much ignored by OKOM bands back then. Some bands, like the one
Joe Hopkins leads, have been doing it for swing dancers for many years.
Probably more than Barbone Street and we've been doing them for about 10
years. I've posted about them on the DJML for about 5 years. And taken
considerable flak from some jazz police who claimed there was no interest in
swing dancing and/or young audiences and/or my supposed bragging.

But hey, swing dancers are a start in connecting to the young audience,
aren't they? I am very glad to see that other bands, and now some OKOM
Festivals are targeting swing dancers. Maybe some of those posts I sent in
about them (and young audiences) that the jazz police objected to, have
finally taken root.

Steve Barbone

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