They say seventh time is a charm, as The George Gee Swing Orchestra has been invited back by Lincoln Center to headline their world-renowned Midsummer Night Swing outdoor concert dance series on Thursday, July 6th. The 17 piece Swing Big Band present a musical program in special tribute to their dear, departed friend Dawn Hampton An ultimate and classic NYC experience like nowhere else, don't miss it!
HAPPY 20th ANNIVERSARY CENTURY BALLROOM!
Two decades ago, The George Gee Swing Orchestra received an email from a then-fledging ballroom in the Pacific NW requesting we make a stop at their town during one of our regular west coast tours. Our memories recollect jam-packed dance floors and wildly enthusiastic music and dance lovers clamoring for every note and rhythm in our NYC style.. Flash forward to 2017 and The Century Ballroom and owner Hallie Kuperman continues their tradition of honoring musicians and dancers with a month-long celebration this past February. As one of their first nationally touring groups to grace their stage, Hallie arranged for The George Gee Swing Orchestra to travel from NYC to help celebrate their 20th Anniversary on a Sunday, February 26th Swing Dance Extravaganza Finale! One of the few remaining classic ballrooms in the country (NYC's Roseland was recently demolished, Chicago's Willowbrook burnt down last year - leaving rarities such as Catalina Island's Casino Ballroom off the Los Angeles coast. All dazzling displays of dance architecture, which all have hosted GGMI swing dance productions).
The February 26th event was also our return to the Century Ballroom in nearly 16 years, so it especially evoked a warm sense of homecoming after such a long hiatus (it wasn't that we didn't try, but Hallie and we could never get our schedule aligned). With the stars aligned in perfect swing formation, the party was an SRO event with over 450 in attendance being serenaded by the full 12 piece GGSO - complete with a roster of NYC musicians plus the extra special vocals and dancing of John Dokes.
(let's start planning the Quarter Century Bash!)
Every winter for the past decade, GGMI has been integral in the annual success of The Snow Ball Gala for The Staten Island Ballet at Nicotra's Ballroom in Staten Island, NY. Along with Staten Island Ballet founder, Ellen Tharp and band leader George - the collaboration always result in a fun-filled evening of ballet, swing and rock dancing enjoyed by all. The Staten Island Advance described it the best (click here for article).
GGMI would like to congratulate the newlywed couple Alexa and Francesco Michelassi and best wishes for a continued future of love, swing and warmth. We were so happy and delighted to be part of their December 17th, 2016 stylish wedding celebration in seasonably warm Savannah, Georgia! The party was held at the groovy venue (there was a tree in the middle of the ballroom!) of Savannah College of Arts & Design and the rhythmic couple first danced to "LOVE" sung by our very smooth John Dokes. We originally met the couple at swing dance events at Columbia University a few years ago, SWING does make you HAPPY! :)
Last night we lost the great Dawn Hampton. A longtime friend of GGMI, she was a steady supporter of all things musical and spiritual. She let you know if you were great, but perhaps more importantly, she did not hesitate to let you know if you were fake. I could list her extended accomplishments, but you can get all that from her Wiki page. What we will miss the most is her warm smile and a tough outer shell, with a soft gooey interior. At 88, she continued to live life to the fullest - going out every night dancing, dining, and listening to great music. Which is what she did to the very last weekend of her life. Sinatra sang "I did it My Way.' To Dawn's credit, her version goes "We did it Our Way!" Keep on Swingin', Diva Dawn.