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Swing Time Newsletter — Wednesday JUL 9th 2008
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Dear Swingsters, Get ready to dance tonight at the Gulfport Casino Swing Night! Tonight (Wednesday) features the debut of our new acoustic sound setup, using vintage swing-era bandshell technology! Come experience the dance excitement and the brilliant new acoustics for yourself, plus be sure to make a request or two if there's something you'd like to hear. Sam now has a catalog of 4000+ songs available, which is growing by the week! Then get ready for Swing Time! Florida's Premier Swing Event returns this Friday, July 11th, to the Grand Ballroom of Centro Asturiano in Tampa, featuring jumpin' favorites, the Juke Joint Kings, plus a huge dance contest at band intermission with $100 Cash 1st Prize!
Also in this newsletter... Hundreds of New Photos + coverage of June's event at Centro from TampaBay.com, plus a calendar of upcoming events, and... is that a young Gene Krupa I see in the photo above? No, it's none other our very own Frank Katzenmeyer (aka "Swing-Dance Frank") at age 14. Further down in this newsletter, Frank provides us a quick flashback to the swing era, complete with photos! See you on the dance floor! --Sam
Friday, July 11th, 2008
Swing Time! at Centro Asturiano in Tampa
Jumpin' with the Juke Joint Kings
Friday July 11th at Centro Asturiano in Tampa, Swing Time features hot & jumpin' swing band, The Juke Joint Kings! The event starts with a group swing-dance lesson, 8-9pm (no partner needed), followed by live music & dancing, 9pm-1am, plus a Dance Contest at intermission with $100 Cash 1st Prize! All ages are welcome!
The Juke Joint Kings are a hot five-piece jump/blues outfit, complete with piano, vocals, harmonica, guitar, bass & drums. The Juke Joint Kings rocked the joint at their prior Swing Time appearances! Band members are music veterans with well over 100 years of professional experience between them. Different members have played with or opened for a who's who list of blues/musical greats, including Etta James, Koko Taylor, Bobby Blue Bland, Marshall Tucker Band, Luther Allison, Lonnie Brooks, Albert King, Son Seals, Rock Bottom, Ronnie Earl, Hubert Sumlin, and Mighty Joe Young. The Juke Joint Kings know how to swing, and are bringing it live to the upcoming Swing Time!
Swing Time is Florida's Premier Swing Event, held one Friday each month at Centro Asturiano in Tampa. Centro Asturiano is located at 1913 N. Nebraska Ave., Tampa FL 33602 (at the corner of Palm Ave. & Nebraska Ave. in Ybor City).
Live Music & Dancing w/ The Juke Joint Kings, 9pm-1am
Swing Dance Instruction (no partner needed), 8-9pm
Swing Dance Contest (with a Twist) at Intermission -- $100 Cash 1st Prize!
All Ages & Smoke-Free
Exciting Social Atmosphere
Fabulous Vintage Grand Ballroom
Huge Floating-Wood Dance Floor
$11 Admission includes Free Lesson; Free Gated Parking
HUGE DANCE CONTEST FRIDAY -- $100 CASH 1ST PRIZE!
This coming Friday, July 11th, is Swing Time! ...Florida's Premier Swing Event, held in the Grand Ballroom of Centro Asturiano in Tampa, and featuring jumpin' favorites, the Juke Joint Kings! A HUGE dance contest is happening at band intermission. We call this... The Swing Dance Contest with a Twist! 1st Place is $100 Cash! Plus, we have great prizes for 2nd and 3rd place too. You've never seen a dance contest like this before!
How does it work? First of all, entry is FREE to all those who attend the Swing Time! event. Enter with your favorite dance partner (but if you don't have one, we'll match up people right then & there who want to enter). Step onto the dance floor at contest time (around 10:15pm, at band intermission). We choose the music and all contestants dance simultaneously to 2-3 song clips (60-90s each) ranging from slow to fast. Judges and audience pick the top three couples to advance to the finals. In the finals comes the twist! -- a little surprise to infuse some more fun & excitement into the contest AND tell us who are the best dancers!
GULFPORT CASINO SWING NIGHT
EVERY WEDNESDAY in Gulfport (St. Petersburg, FL)
The Gulfport Casino Swing Night is a high-energy social-dance event, happening in a beautiful retro-era grand dance hall -- the Gulfport Casino -- that beckons all who venture near to come inside and swing! Now in its 10th year, this every-Wednesday Swing Night has become one of the biggest swing dances in the USA, attracting hundreds of dancers of all ages, both locals and often visiting travelers.
Swing Music & Dancing, 8pm-Midnight
Dance Lesson, 7-8pm  (no partner needed)
Shim Sham, Dance Jams, Prizes, Mixers, & More!
Beautiful & Historic Waterfront Grand Ballroom
Friendly Social Atmosphere
One of the World's Best Dance Floors!
* All Ages * Smoke-Free * Full Bar * Free Parking *
Admission $7 (includes Free Lesson)
The Gulfport Casino is located in the St. Petersburg area at 5500 Shore Blvd. S., Gulfport FL 33707. For more info, visit www.SwingTime.info on the web, or click the links below:
[Map & Directions] [More Info]
FLASHBACK TO THE SWING ERA... A LETTER FROM SWING-DANCE FRANK
Going back many many years, I played drums in dance bands as they were known then. There were no DJ's. Many clubs we played in never had speakers. One night, going into the Elks Club, we thought we were in the big time with a mic and one speaker. Talent, good or bad, came out of the instrument.
I danced to the biggest names in the business at that time, and yes, there were the band shells in and out doors. Members had to be in the musicians union in order to play. You may have heard of James Petrillo, the pres out of Chicago. At the age of 14, I got a call from a guy named Jimmie Judge, a piano player with a 5-piece combo. In order to start playing gigs, I had to join the union. I was the youngest member in our local at the time. Dad lent me the 25 bucks to join. Our gigs paid 8 big ones for three hours before midnight. I was in hog heaven with this money. Sometimes a person would stuff some money into the sax to stay over. We liked that. Being not old enough to drive, Dad would drive me there in our '37 Chev and sometimes would stay but mostly came back for me.
Don't think they were all clubs. There were also high schools gyms. But clubs and lounges were and still are my favorite. On graduation night, I took off my cap and gown and headed to a nearby town to play a prom night gig for that school. I was getting into dancing at the time and eventually gave up the drumming. I realized that females were warmer in my hands than wooden drum sticks.
These were the good ole days before electronics... where true talent prevailed... another reason I like New Orleans so much, where it still exists. I thought this would also help to understand the Gulfport Casino and other dance pavilions.
P.S. It's fine with me if you want to include these pictures, when I was a brunette [age 14].
In case you missed the last couple of newsletters, new photos are online from June's Swing Time! event at Centro Asturiano, and from the recent Gulfport Casino Swing Nights! You'll need to have both images and links enabled in your email program to see the photos.
Photos - JUNE 20 - Swing Time! at Centro Asturiano
Photos - MAR-JUN 2008 Gulfport Casino Swing Nights
TAMPABAY.COM FEATURES SWING TIME!
In his TampaBay.com blog, Leigh Armstrong covers the June Swing Time!/Centro Asturiano event in words & photos: "If there's one thing I enjoy about swing dancing events, it's the age diversity. It doesn't matter how old or young you are, as long as you're willing to learn a bit and have a good time, you're completely welcome. The Swing Time! event at the Centro Asturiano in Ybor Friday night was no different (except that they had a live band busting out some music). The people here were friendly to a fault. I felt like I had walked through a time warp and was transported back to when both swing dancing and common courtesy were in style...." [Read the Full Article] [See the Photos]
UPCOMING SWING TIME EVENTS
Click the links below for details on each event
EVERY WEDNESDAY: Gulfport Casino Swing Night
Jul 11, 2008 (Fri): Swing Time! at Centro Asturiano
featuring The Juke Joint Kings
Hot & Jumpin' Swing Band!
Tickets: $11; purchase at the door
Aug 1, 2008 (Fri): Swing Time! at Centro Asturiano
featuring Charlie Vegas & the New Blues Combo
The Kings of Retro Swinging Blues!
Tickets: $11; purchase at the door
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