Supporting Swing Band Music Charts of Jimmie Lunceford

Happy New Year everyone! We’re excited to start the year by reporting our second round of supporting the resurgence of live vintage jazz music.

We are in the process of finalizing contracts for our new progressive lessons venue space. Stay tuned to this website, our Facebook page, and our Facebook group for more information.

Reviving Lost Big Band Music

Similar to last year’s Chick Webb project, this year we had the opportunity to support the transcription of a song in Jimmie Lunceford’s Orchestra style of swing. The Big Band Revival Group set up another crowdfunding project for Lunceford after a worldwide lindy hop community vote. Each chart (song) cost between $150-450 to get transcribed from beginning-to-end. These dollars allowed professional transcribers listen to the recordings and notate everything on the original record, putting it into sheet music form for other musicians to play. The project not only hired some of the best transcribers in the business, they also chose master swing musicians who understand the swing style. These transcribers are literally the “best people on the planet to tackle the historical nature of this project.”

Read more at the official Facebook page.

The SwingColumbus Mission: A Reminder

SwingColumbus is a not-for-profit educational organization dedicated to the preservation, study, teaching, enjoyment, and continuing evolution of all forms of swing dance. When we say “swing dance,” we mean the group of American Rhythm dances that developed with the swing style of jazz music in the 1920’s through the 1940’s. We are volunteer-run, and our hearts thrum to 6-beat and 8-beat patterns.

SwingColumbus dedicates your dance and lesson admission dollars not only to keeping our dance community alive here in Central Ohio, but also to similar non- and not-for-profit projects that align with our mission statement. When the SwingColumbus Board heard about an opportunity to support the transcription of legendary bandleader Jimmie Lunceford’s music, we knew we had to jump in line.

Who Was Jimmie Lunceford?

Jimmie Lunceford Orchestra

Lunceford was an American jazz alto saxophonist and bandleader in the swing era (1930s – 40s). Lunceford’s band differed from other great bands of the time because they were better known for ensemble rather than solo work. Lunceford was known for using a two-beat rhythm, called the Lunceford two-beat instead of the standard four-beat rhythm. This distinctive “Lunceford style” was largely the result of the imaginative arrangements by trumpeter Sy Oliver, which set high standards for dance-band arrangers of the time (Wikipedia).

In 1947, Lunceford had been complaining of leg pain during an autograph session in Oregon. Before his next performance, he collapsed. He died in the ambulance of a coronary occlusion. A couple of his band members struggled to keep the group together, but it ultimately disbanded in 1949.

Lindy Focus Premiere

Hanging at the Jimmie Lunceford dress rehearsal with the #lindyfocus band led by @campusfive! SwingColumbus sponsored to transcribe the song "Rose Room," allowing two of our members (Joe and Emily) to attend the rehearsal. Mark and Binaebi sponsored the song "Jay Gee." You can listen to the first live playing of the newly transcribed songs TONIGHT if you search for Lindy Focus on Facebook and YouTube. It doesn't matter if you're not at Focus, swing out in your living room to some of the best swing jazz instrumentalists in the nation! . . . #lindyhop #swingcolumbus #eastcoastswing #triplestep #socialdancing #swingdancing #swingdance #lessons #vintagejazz #jazzmusic #vintagedancing #lindyhoppers #expcols #experiencecolumbus #cbusrocktober #swingjazzisthebestjazz #shimsham #aintwhatyoudo #notforprofit #cantstopthindyhop

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Lindy Focus is the trendsetter regarding lindy hop swing dance events in the United States. Every year, they change something to make their event bigger and better than the year before. This year was their third round of bandleader theme nights: Artie Shaw; Jimmie Lunceford; Chick Webb.

Two SwingColumbus members who were also attending Lindy Focus won a raffle opportunity to hear the dress rehearsal of the Jimmie Lunceford charts: Emily Benze and Joseph Brenneman. Mark and Binaebi Calkins (SwingColumbus Music Coordinator and Webmaster/Instagrammer, respectively) supported a song transcription as well, and were also in attendance.

SwingColumbus sponsored the transcription of Lunceford’s 1934 version of “Rose Room.” Mark and Binaebi sponsored “Jay Gee.”

Jimmie Lunceford’s music hasn’t been heard live by dancers for decades. The energy on the dance floor for the Jimmie Lunceford night at Lindy Focus cannot be replicated, but luckily, the event live streamed the premiere.

Jump to 35:25 in the video below to hear about “Rose Room” from bandleader Jonathan Stout, followed by the song itself. You may listen to “Jay Gee” at 52:12.

All Because of You

Thank you to our members and regular dance and lesson attendees for continuing to support SwingColumbus so our organization can support projects like this. We’ll see you soon on the dance floor!