The First Swinging Europe Conference to Take Place in Sofia

As part of this year’s edition of Sofia Swing Dance Festival, our team is organising the International Swing Conference – a panel talk event aimed at community leaders, event organisers, swing dance teachers, musicians and all members of the swing dance and music family.

The event will take place on the 01st of July as part of the programme of Sofia Swing Dance Festival 2021.

Agenda:

12:00 – 13:15 Panel Talk 01: Covid-19 Impact on local scenes

The first panel talk of the day will take a closer look at the impacts of the pandemic on the international and local swing dance scenes. Our panel members will share their first-hand experience from the effects of the crisis on their local organisations and communities. We will discuss different aspects of the crisis, how local leaders struggled to overcome them and keep the community together.

13:15 – 14:30 Panel Talk 02: Reaching and retaining target audiences

In this second panel talk, we will address topics related to the communication with our community members and target audiences. More specifically, our panellists will talk about the need for more professional approach to online marketing and the application of different communication tools. We will discuss how to approach and attract new community members and bring back and retain long-time students.

14:30 – 15:00 Break

15:00 – 16:30 Panel Talk 03: The way ahead

Introducing the Swinging Europe Network – an Association dedicated to work for the sustainable development of European swing culture, creative scene and artists. The main goal of this newly established organisation is to support our sector by providing access to information and resources; increase the professionalization of the sector; find and encourage young artists and organisations; provide opportunities for training, collaboration, and exchange of good practices among community members.

16:30 – 17:30 Networking session

 

The International Swing Conference is organised as part of the Swinging Europe Network project supported by the Creative Europe programme of the EU, the National Culture Fund Bulgaria, and Sofia Municipality Culture Programme.


Final Results Announcement

European Swing Artists Contest 2020-2021

RESULTS ANNOUNCEMENT

We are happy to announce that the Jury of the European Swing Artists Contest 2020-21 has reached an agreement on the winners in both categories of the contest.

In this edition of the Contest, we had a total of 141 participants, including small bands and big orchestras, solo dancers as well as dance teams. Big thanks to everyone that has participated. We hope that this initiative will support the swing sector in Europe, especially in such difficult times.

And now, the winners.

In the Music Artists category, the Jury has selected the following bands:

In the Dance Artists category, the Jury has selected the following dancers:

Congratulations to all the winners. Each one of them will be contacted in the following weeks and offered the chance to perform at one of the events organised by the project partners.

#CreativeEurope #SwingingEurope #SwingingEuropeNetwork


Public Voting Results

We are happy to announce the results of the Public voting in the European Swing Artists Contest.

In the Music Artists Category the winners with a total of 158 votes are the Jeepers Creepers Swing Band.

In the Dance Artists Category the winners with a total of 211 votes are Livio Totteri and Morena Petrolati.

Congratulations to the winners for getting the most votes from the public and thanks to everyone who has cast their vote.

Stay tuned because soon we will be announcing the final decision of the Jury and the winners who will have the chance to perform at the events organized by our partner.

#CreativeEurope #SwingingEurope #SwingingEuropeNetwork


Public voting is now closed

Public voting in the European Swing Artists Contest is now closed. In the past month, we have received close to 2000 votes in one or both categories of the Contest. Thanks to everyone who has cast their vote.

Results will be announced by the 15th of February 2021 when the contest Jury takes its final decision. The Jury will take into consideration the voting of the public. Learn more about the Contest here.


Swinging Europe Network Info Day

The Swingin Europe Network project consortium will hold an online Information Day that will take place next Friday 22nd of January, 18:00h CET. It will be streamed live via our Facebook page.

Join us to learn more about our project and what we have achieved so far. The Swinging Europe team will be there to meet you and answer your questions.

Swinging Europe Network project is financed by the Executive Agency Education, Audiovisual and Culture (EACEA) through the Creative Europe program.


The European Swing Artists Contest is now open for public voting

Vote for one of Swinging Europe's Music and/or Dance artists! The audience can vote for one participant in each category – ‘Dance Artists’ and ‘Music Artist’. The voting will be open from 01st January 2021 until 31st of January 2021.

The Jury is ought to take into consideration the voting of the public in their final decision if the contestants selected by the audience meet the selection criteria.

Cast your vote by the end of January and get the chance to win a party pass for one of the events organized by our project partners. Vote here.


Swinging Europe Artists Contest dates

In light of the current situation and the immense impact that Covid-19 pandemic is having on the Swing sector in Europe and on the implementation of our project, we are forced to announce amendments to the European Swing Artists Contest dates.

The registrations for the contest are still open and will remain open until the end of 2020 (31.12.2020). The Contest is open to all European Swing musicians, bands, orchestras, musicians, dance performers and artists. You can register here.

The audience will have the chance to vote for one participant in each category – ‘Dance artist’ and ‘Music artist’. Members of the audience can cast their vote by visiting the Swinging Europe web portal. The voting will be open from 01st January 2021 until 31st of January 2021. Everyone who casted their vote online will have the chance to win a party pass for one of the events organised by the project partners.

The results of the contest in both categories will be announced by 15th February 2021.

Learn more about the contest here.


What a Jazz Festival 2020 is going online

What a Jazz Festival - a jazz dance and music festival which due to the COVID-19 situation this year will take place online. Our main goal this year is to not only inspire dancers but also to help teachers to inspire their students. Thus, What a Jazz Festival 2020 will not only focus on open lindy hop and solo jazz classes but will have a separate Teacher’s training module where the focus of classes will be turned to expanding teachers’ knowledge of class preparation and structure within. This training module is open for everyone from aspiring new teachers to community leaders. So on November 13th - 15th, 2020 join our little adventure with these amazing educators:

Dr. Marie N’diaye (PhD) is a Jazz Dance choreographer, performer and educator as well as a dance researcher. She specialises in Jazz Dance (African American Vernacular Jazz) and its partnered form (Lindy Hop), focusing on the legacy of Harlem dancers from the Savoy Ballroom as well as the chorus line tradition from night clubs and theater (such as the Apollo Theater, the Cotton Club, Connie’s Inn…) and has applied her scientific method and dance education to conduct an embodied practice-based research of Jazz dance through the study of original video clips and collaborations with established dancers.

Sep Vermeersch. It’s all about the ‘jazz’ process with Sep: historical context, swingin’ hard and expressing your own style. Be ready to be immersed in an intense experience where you will be invited to expand your dancing comfort zone. Sep Vermeersch is a passionate swing dance expert. Based in Ghent he teaches locally for Crazy Legs Dance School or runs events for LouisLou. Most weekends Sep was invited around the world to teach Lindy Hop, Authentic Jazz or Blues at renowned dance festivals. But now he keeps spreadin’ the jazz message locally or beyond in online classes, lectures or out of the box concepts.

Helena Kanini Kiiru is a young dancer and teacher based in Zagreb, Croatia, where she teaches solo jazz. She started off as a hip hop dancer at the age of 10, and after 8 years of practicing various street styles, she fell in love with lindy hop. Very quickly she found passion for solo jazz, especially the raw style of authentic jazz pioneers. Her talent was recognized at JazzRoots 2018 where she won both solo and showcase competitions. She stood out due to her unique style, charisma and authenticity. Now she teaches internationally and enjoys spreading her love for solo jazz.

Joyss. “Before starting to cook (mix styles), you should perfectly know your ingredients (dances you take inspirations from).” Joyss is well known for his multi-artistic experience. He comes from the Hip-hop Culture, where the mission of every dancer is to raise your own style and respect all inspirations without taking off any nature of it. In his classes Joyss emphasizes improving students movements by teaching them how to better understand their own bodies, foster coordination, balance and expression.

Gustav & Laia will teach you how to make every step count! Laia’s teaching is focused on getting followers to participate actively and with a strong rhythm in the dance. Gustav is all about rhythm and flow.

Apart from all online classes and lectures happening on Saturday (14th Nov) and Sunday (15th Nov), on Friday (13th Nov) we have a free Musicality Class by The Shirt Tail Stompers followed by their special concert and The Steven Coombe Show. It will be live-streamed on What a Jazz Facebook page.

The Shirt Tail Stompers have been recognised as one of Europe's best social dance bands. Formed in 2010 for the London Lindy Exchange and led by Trumpeter Steve Coombe, they have played numerous dance camps and shows in over 25 countries all over the world. They have a passion for swing music and movement, with their extensive knowledge and experience of social dancing, they are definitely the band to dance to in 2020. This 'special edition' is going to feature Double Bass maestra Jen Hodge, the amazing Brad Shigeta (Lincoln Centre Jazz Orchestra, Illinois Jacquet Big Band) on Trombone and Lindy Hop scene veteran Solomon Douglas on Piano.

The musicality class with Steven Coombe and the Shirt Tail Stompers will focus on learning the different forms of swing music and the roles of the instruments. Also, how to use your ears to bring your dancing closer to the music. From listening to individual instruments, understanding the importance of melody and how to react to dynamics; this fun and interactive class will open your eyes and ears to a world of new possibilities in your dancing.

What a Jazz Festival is part of the Swinging Europe Network project which is co-funded by the Executive Agency Education, Audiovisual and Culture (EACEA) through the Europe Creative programme of the EU.


Sevilla Swing Festival is just around the corner

Due to the Covid-19 situation, the usual spring dates of the festival have been moved to this autumn. The Festival will take place on the 16th and 17th of October. In spite of the current situation and thanks to the organisation team, the programme of the festival will feature two large concerts, which will affirm Sevilla Swing as an indispensable part within the European panorama of swing music and dance.

Vocalist Tatiana Eva-Marie, one of the jazz performers best valued by the international press and the New York music scene, will perform this Saturday, 17th of October, at the Alameda Theatre in Seville. She will perform with the band Duved & His Transatlantic Five.

Tatiana Eva-Marie is named emerging jazz star by the prestigious Vanity Fair magazine. This Brooklyn-based Swiss artist has also received acclaims from publications in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and Downbeat, for her exploration of swing through the lens of 1930s Paris with her renowned group Avalon Jazz Band. Often compared to vocalists of the stature of Cécile McLorin and having become the opening act for Norah Jones, Tatiana Eva-Marie performs two or three times a week in New York, as well as in Hollywood movie premieres (and series like Mad Men) and at festivals around the world. In Seville she will lead the band of Duved Dunayevsky, an Israeli guitarist recognized as the main current interpreter in the manouche style popularized by Django Reinhardt.

The night before (Friday,16th of October), on the same stage, the sextet Le Dancing Pepa will perform live for the audience. The Valencian band, made up of new generation Spanish jazzmen specialized in recreating the sound of 1920s New York is based on piano, drums and double bass, together with a brass trio (trombone, trumpet and alto sax). They will bring to Seville their rhythmic and very enjoyable mix of classic swing and frenetic blues.

Regular at national and international events such as the Shake That Lake festivals in Switzerland and Swing Aout in France, they were recently invited to perform in The World Jam, the battle between the best swing bands in the world. There they became the big surprise for their ability to revolutionize the scene, through their powerful and fun stage presence and their versatility in the repertoire.

In addition to both concerts, the Center for Cultural Initiatives of the University of Seville (Cicus) will host a performance by the Radio Huachaca trio. This band, made up of the Chilean musician Sebastián Orellana (guitar and voice, La Big Rabia), the Sevillian Marcos Padilla (guitar and voice, O Sister!) and Daniel Abad (double bass, Tamal Hot Band), will stage a repertoire of jazz, waltzes, boleros and Latin American folklore with a special tribute to the figure of Roberto Parra. The brother of Nicanor and Violeta invented the jazz huachaca, a style that mixes the manouche of gypsy-Belgian origin with the cueca typical of Chile. Eminently popular, traditional music that will recreate the atmospheres of clubs and cabarets for which it was conceived. 

Sevilla Swing Festival is supported by the Institute of Culture and the Arts of Seville (ICAS), Center for Cultural Initiatives of the University of Seville (Cicus), the Swing and South Association and the Creative Europe program of the EU through the Swinging Europe Network project.


A message from Sofia Swing Dance Festival team

Last weekend, the 6th edition of Sofia Swing Dance Festival took place. As part of the Festival and the Swinging Europe Network project financed by the Creative Europe programme of the EU, the organizers held a very productive Discussion panel on the challenges of the swing dance community in times of Covid-19.

Here’s a message from the organiser’s team:

‘In times of trouble it is of great importance for people to stay together and be united in a way. With a lot of hard work and desire Sofia Swing Dance Festival Team did everything we could to make this year's event possible. We will allow ourselves to quote few of the participants and say that last weekend was indeed a necessity for our dancing society.

The dance floor is where we feel at home and that is why we invited you all at our home, so you can have it as your own and feel safe about it as well. We never thought that in order to organize a dance festival, we would have to organize PCR tests because of a global pandemic - Covid-19. That was quite challenging, but also needed for everyone's well being and comfort.

We are overwhelmed and full with many different emotions, but mainly grateful. Thank you all! Тhank you for trusting us and believing in this magic, without your support we wouldn't have made it through.’