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.’


European Swing Artists Contest 2020 is now open

The European Swing Artists Contest is part of the Swinging Europe Network project financed by the Creative Europe programme of the EU. It is the successor of the previously held Swinging Europe Music Contest.

The main objective of the Swinging Europe Network project is to further develop and increase the international mobility of swing artists in Europe. Therefore, it is building on the achieved results of the previous project by upgrading and extending the reach of the Contest to include not only musicians but also dance performers as well.

The project consortium wishes to continue enlarging the already existing catalogue of Swing artists by attracting more and more musicians and dance performers and so to create a reliable and consistent European Swing networking tool, which is to become a core reference point for every festival organizer.

The Contest is open to all European Swing musicians, bands, orchestras, musicians, dance performers and artists.

The participation is free of charge. All artists interested in taking part in the competition can register on the Swinging Europe Portal, complete their profile and upload a video of their best performance. Registrations can be made not only by individual performers such as singers or solo dancers but also by dancers in couples, bands, orchestras, etc. By uploading their video profiles in the Web portal, each participant will increase his/her visibility towards event promoters/organisers and towards possible collaborators in future.

Registration of participants is now open. Click here to register.

All participants registered before 15th of October this year will be taken into consideration for 2020 edition of the Contest.

Results will be announced by 15th of November 2020.

You can read all about the Contest and its Rules and conditions here.

Covid-19 and Swinging Europe Network project

In light of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and the extreme
situation all countries are facing in Europe we regret to inform the audience
that two of our partners’ events had to be postponed. These events are Swing
Paradise and Sevilla Swing festivals that were planned to take place in April
this year. We will keep you informed on the situation.

Meanwhile, we would like to express our support to the numerous jazz and swing musicians that are sharing their live stream performances during the shutdown. Starting off tonight with the daily live performance at SwingHouse – a great initiative that brings together finest Czech musicians during tough times.  

If you know of such live streams, let us know and we will
share them with our audience.

Swinging Europe Network kick-off meeting

We are off to a good start! An inspiring kick-off meeting took place on 3rd of October 2019 in Plovdiv, Bulgaria that marked the start of the second Swinging Europe Project. The partners from Bulgaria, Spain, Italy, Lithuania and Belgium exchanged their ideas for the further development of the European swing dance and music scenes and set the timeline of the upcoming activities under the project. The meeting took place during the second edition of the Balkan Lindy Hop Championships that brought together more than 200 swing dancers from around the world to compete, dance and party under the live music of one of the finest European Swing bands – the Heart of Dixie.

Swinging Europe Project will go on!

The EACEA agency has approved the second phase of the Swinging Europe project for the period 2019 -2021. This time the partnership will be leaded by Lindy Hop Bulgaria (BG) in cooperation with Marmaduke (ES), Italian Swing Dance Society (IT), Svingo Rojus (Lithuania) and LouisLou vzw (BE). We come back after summer!

2nd edition of the European Swing Fair took place in Sofia

The second edition of the European Swing Fair took place in Sofia between the 29th and the 31st of May. 26 professionals coming from 15 European countries have been working for two days to push forward the European Swing Network, exchange management skills and model and increase business opportunities.

Next Swinging Europe Fair in Sofia

Dear colleagues,

We are glad to invite you to the Second European Swing Fair that will be held in Sofia, Bulgaria the 29th and 30th of May in the framework of the 5th edition of the Sofia Swing Dance Festival (www.sofiaswing.com)

Sofia Swing Dance Festival is organized by Lindy Hop Bulgaria, the largest swing dance school in the country, founded in 2009. Since then Lindy Hop Bulgaria has been dedicated to develop the swing culture among the newly born Bulgarian swing dance scene by organizing various events related to swing music and dancing.

In 2017 the booking agency from Spain – Marmaduke, specialised in Jazz and Swing, as a lead partner of an international consortium together with Lindy Hop Bulgaria, Markodrom and ASD Italian Swing Dance Society, was awarded a grant by the Creative Europe programme of the European Commission for a project called Swinging Europe (www.swingingeurope.eu)

One of the aims of the project is to build a professional cooperation among different actors in the swing sector by establishing the European Swing Network.

While in the Jazz scene there are several opportunities available for professionals and artists to meet and exchange practices, this is still not true for the swing scene despite the audience’s growing interest for this genre. Our ambition is indeed to create a new space where artists, festival organisers and agents can meet and cooperate.

In this context we are very glad to invite you to take part to the second European Swing Fair that will take place in Sofia, Bulgaria the 29th and 30th of May.

This is a provisional general schedule for the meeting, a final and detailed programme will be circulated by the end of March:

29th of May: 14.00 Presentation of the participants, exchange of experiences, needs and skills

29th of May (Night): Swing party / Swinging Europe concert

30th of May: 9.30 Focus on Swing event's management

30th of May: 140.00 Session resulting from the participants' proposal (see the application form)

30th of May (night): Swinging Europe concert

Travel, accommodation for two nights and food costs during the fair will be fully reimbursed for one representative of your entity.

We kindly request you to confirm your participation by the 15th of March by filling and sending the application form to caterina@marmaduke.info so that we can better organize the logistics as well as to make available this opportunity to other colleagues in case you are not able to join.

Lindy Hop Bulgaria & Marmaduke on behalf of the Swinging Europe project.

For more information: Caterina Amicucci (caterina@marmaduke.info), Georgi Evgeniev (evgeniev.georgi@gmail.com)