This post is a part of a day by day recap of the Frankie Manning 95th Birthday Festival. You can learn more about Frankie Manning at the event’s website or go to his personal website www.FrankieManning.com. You can order DVD’s of this event at www.Frankie95.com.
The day started out with a memorial service for Frankie Manning at the Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church. Harlem resident and friend of Frankie, Lana Turner put together a huge array of friends, family and admirers to remember him.
Here is Manu Smith sharing some fond memories.
But this was no ordinary memorial service. Frankie wanted us to celebrate, not mourn. You can guess how dancers would celebrate one of the true greats.
Here’s Dawn Hampton with Manu showing everyone how it’s done
The spirit moved the everyone to clap their hands and get up out of their seats.
They even the presiding reverends got up to get down.
They ended with a rousing version of “When the Saints Go Marching In” and handed off to a George Gee and His Make Believe Ballroom Orchestra .
David Ostwald and The Gully Low Jazz Band came back and played another set.
Here’s their version of Undecided.
Lot’s of great and unique musical moments occurred during the weekend. Check out “The Father of vocalese,” Jon Hendricks, dropping in to jam with the band.
Then George Gee came back with a second set.
“Sent For You Yesterday”
“Blues For Stephanie”
The day ended with the preliminary round of the World’s Largest Jack & Jill. A total of 191 leads and 241 follows registered for this competition. Music was selected and DJ’d by Tomo Tanaka.
“Chant of The Groove” by Fats Waller
“Look-A-There” by Slim & Slam
“Struttin’ With Kate” by Bill Elliot Swing Orchestra