I can remember how good it felt the first time I played music that actually made people get up and dance. I was in playing in a big band at the Beaches International Jazz Festival; normally we played at farmer’s markets or retirement centres, so we were already excited to be performing for a much bigger crowd than we were used to. I don’t remember exactly what song we were playing, maybe Begin the Beguine, but I definitely remember the thrill of looking up and noticing that just beyond the line of parents cheering us on there were people (who didn’t even know us!) dancing along to the music.
While at times I’m happy to sit back and listen, I think there’s undeniably something special about enjoying a performance on your feet, moving along with the music. That’s why I am so happy to announce that at this year’s Steel City Jazz Festival we will be partnering with Hamilton swing-dance aficionados the Hammer Hoppers to bring you our very first dance, featuring Alex Pangman and Her Alleycats on November 2nd at the Pearl Company.
Alex Pangman specializes in jazz music from a time when a lot more people danced to jazz! Her interpretations of the Great American (and Canadian!) songbook have earned her the title of ‘Canada’s Sweetheart of Swing’, as well as National Jazz Award nominations and a Vocal Jazz Album of the Year nomination at the 2016 Juno Awards for her most recent album, ‘New’. Take a listen to the track ‘It’s Never Enough’ off of ‘New’ below, written by Pangman herself and recorded in New Orleans:
Are your toes tapping? Then this show is for you. But even if you don’t feel like dancing that’s okay; this event is for dancers and listeners alike, everyone is welcome. If you do feel like dancing but want to give your moves a little polish before getting down, there will be a swing dancing lesson hosted by the Hammer Hoppers prior to the performance. If you want even more practice time (and I count myself in this category), the Hammer Hoppers start a series of lessons next week. It’s time to dust off those dancing shoes, we promise you won’t regret it! See you at the Pearl Company November 2nd!