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.
This was the first day of workshops.
11:00 am at the Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and the Performing Arts, Max Pitruzella & Annie Trudeau’s taught a class entitled “By Frankie.” Here’s a class recap by a couple of the students
And another recap of the 1:00 pm. Steven & Virginie partner Cakewalk class.
The evening opened up with George Gee and His Make Believe Ballroom Orchestra accompanying a performance by the New York Lindy Hop All Stars. I haven’t found video of that yet, but would appreciate it if anyone could forward it to me if it’s out there.
The the Hellzapoppin Finals took place at the beginning of the Harlem Renaissance Orchestra’s set who provided live music for the finals.
The finalists in order of appearance were:
- Jeremy Otth & Laura Keat
- Max Pitruzzella & Annie Trudeau
- Juan Villafañe & Sharon Davis
- Mike Roberts & Laura Glaess
- Kevin St. Laurent & Emily “Jo” Hoffberg
Note that Carla Heiney & Nick Williams were finalists, but had to drop out because of an injury sustained by Carla earlier that day.
The first round was done to the song “Cottontail”
The MC, Manu Smith, let’s the dancers have a short breather before introducing the second round.
The second round was done to the original song that Frankie Manning choreographed the Hellzapoppin’ routine to: “Jumpin’ At The Woodside”
The winners of the contest were Max Pitruzzella & Annie Trudeau.
After the contest, HRO finished their set. Here’s a partial excerpt of them playing “Flyin’Home.” Interesting piece of trivia, HRO is the only band authorized by the Illinois Jacquet estate to play his original arrangements.
After HRO finished their set we showed the final cut of the Global Shim Sham project done by Akemi Kinukawa.
This was followed by a performance by the Harlem Jittebug Kids. Unfortunately I can only find a partial clip of their routine.
That was followed by a performance of the Frankie95 Worldwide Routine.
We then brought on our third big band of the night, The Loud Minority. The band was originally founded by Frank Foster who came out of retirement to personally lead the band on this night. He was only supposed to lead a couple of songs because of his health, but he stayed so long that they had to kick him off stage in order to bring out Catherine Russell. She is the daughter of Luis Russell, the band leader who had a profound influence on Duke Ellington and was the big band leader of Louis Armstrong’s big band in the 1930’s.
Check her out singing “Never Make Your Move To Soon” with The Loud Minority.
The finale included performances by three of Lindy Hop’s premiere performance groups.
They had a false start because the CD they gave the DJ, Mike Marcotte, did not work. Fortunately, he had thought ahead and burned the music to his laptop ahead of time, but was too quick to switch over. The sound guy for EG Audio Visual Services was just a split second behind in bringing up the sound for the laptop which was on a different channel. This was enough to throw off the Ninjammerz.
They restarted, but it’s a good thing Mike Marcotte thought ahead otherwise the Ninjammerz would have never performed that night.
Finally, The Silver Shadows
I had a hard time deciding between different angles of this routine, so be sure to check out this version which is a bit closer.
After the routines we showed this special clip of Frankie Manning singing “You Make Me feel So Young”
Frankie’s son, Chazz Young, then led the Shim Sham with all three big bands playing “Stompin’ At The Savoy”
The bands went on to trade a few songs and jam on a couple others. They ended with all three of them doing Frankie’s favorite song: “Shiny Stockings.”
Here are additional short, wide shot clips.
At the very end of the night, after we closed at 4:00 am, not everyone was ready to go home so some people just decided to start dancing on the sidewalk in front of the Manhattan Center.