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Kennedy Center to Present 15-Day Swing Festival

Performances, instruction and dance, in tribute to an enduring style

Dr. Billy Taylor
Nellie McKay

From November 11-26, the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., will present a major swing music festival, appropriately titled Swing, Swing, Swing. The event will feature the unveiling of the KC Dance Hall with a free concert by the Eric Felten Jazz Orchestra and a tribute to Dr. Billy Taylor (1921-2010), the Center’s late Artistic Director for Jazz (1994-2010). The two-week festival of both ticketed and free performances will allow audiences to experience swing \through dance.

Throughout the duration of Swing, Swing, Swing, patrons will be invited to show off their dance moves in the KC Dance Hall, located at the north end of the Grand Foyer, complete with live music, dance floors and instructors. The Millennium Stage will present free, daily live performances at 6 p.m. featuring artists such as Nellie McKay, Asleep at the Wheel, Miri Ben-Ari and Firecracker Jazz Band, highlighting numerous styles of swing music and dance such as big band, Dixieland swing, Western swing, jump blues, Gypsy swing, Cajun swing, hand dancing, and much more.

On November 17-18 and 24-25, artists will perform a second set on the Millennium Stage. Throughout the festival, dance instructors will be on-hand to teach corresponding dance classes before select performances. Beginning on November 11, ARTSEDGE, the Kennedy Center’s national arts education website, will present a series of four podcasts that will explore the roots of these multiple genres of swing, as well as interviews with some of the festival’s artists.

For more information about the Kennedy Center and a full schedule, visit Kennedy Center.

Originally Published