One of the best things to do in the summer in NYC is attend all the kick-ass outdoor dance parties hosted by popular New York attractions, such as NYC parks. But no other open-air boogie fest compares to the magical Midsummer Night Swing dance series at Lincoln Center!
For three weeks this summer, folks can twist, turn and twirl under the stars to jams provided by incredible live bands and artists such as The Legendary Count Basie Orchestra, Binky Griptite, Loser's Lounge, Harlem Renaissance Orchestra, Joe Bataan and others at Damrosch Park. Although the term "swing" is included in the title of the main event, each one of the 15 bashes covers a specific genre of dance, including disco, ballroom, salsa and more. You can also attend a late-night Silent Disco on select nights!
For first-timers, Midsummer Night Swing begins at 6:30pm and starts with a dance lesson provided by some of New York's best instructors. Then, the live music kicks off at 7:30pm and lasts until 10pm—except during the special late-night Silent Disco parties, which end at 11:30pm.
Tickets (four dances $60, six dances $84, full season $170; advance tickets for select evenings $17, $20 day of) go on sale today and can be purchased here.
Check out the full schedule provided by Lincoln Center below!
Tuesday, June 27
The Legendary Count Basie Orchestra
Style: Big Band Swing
Founded in Kansas City in 1935, the Legendary Count Basie Orchestra has been carrying on the legacy of the jazz icon and his swinging sound for decades, having won 20 Grammy Awards. Currently led by trumpet virtuoso Scotty Barnhart, who has performed with the ensemble for more than 20 years, the orchestra continues to be an ambassador of big band swing around the world. Guest vocalist Carmen Bradford, who was discovered and hired by Count Basie himself, joins for a rousing kickoff to this year’s festival. The Count Basie Orchestra mark appears under license from the William J. Basie Trust.
Dance Instructor: Akemi Kinukawa teaches Lindy hop
DJ: Odysseus Bailer
Wednesday, June 28
Don Perignon y La Puertorriqueña
For more than 40 years—30 with his Puerto Rico–based orchestra—timbalero extraordinaire Don Perignon (so-called for his prowess on the timbale drums) has been a favorite among salsa dancers and listeners alike. Known for its tight rhythm section and invigorating vocal arrangements, the orchestra boasts one of the most devoted followings among salsa dancers on its native island. It’s 2011 release, 30 Aniversario A Otro Nivel, was nominated for a Billboard Award.
Dance Instructor: Marlon “International” Mills teaches salsa.
DJ: DJ Mar Y Soul
Thursday, June 29
The Loser’s Lounge: DISCO!
Known for its distinctive tributes and covers spanning the 60s through the 90s, Loser’s Lounge takes aim at the solid-gold disco era for a night of hustle and more. Keyboardist and bandleader Joe McGinty augments the downtown favorite, with horns and strings for a boisterous night. Featured on The Daily Show, NPR, and numerous publications, including The New York Times, New Yorker, Rolling Stone, and Spin Magazine, the Loser’s Lounge will infect this Thursday night crowd with Saturday Night Fever, which continues from 10:00 to 11:30 pm with Silent Disco.
Dance Instructor: Ron Rosario teaches the hustle.
DJ: DJ Bill Coleman
After hours Silent Disco, powered by Quiet Events
DJs: DJ Bill Coleman, DJ Rimarkable, and Rita Houston
Friday, June 30
Margi & the Dapper Dots
Brooklyn-based band Margi & the Dapper Dots makes its Lincoln Center debut bringing a sultry polish to golden age classics by Irving Berlin, George Gershwin, Cole Porter, and others. Harkening back to Tin Pan Alley and Old Hollywood, these New York veterans are regulars at the Metropolitan Room, Mezzrow Jazz Club, and The New York Swing Dance Society and will croon out tunes for waltzing, foxtrotting, cha-cha, and more into the night. Principal dancer James Whiteside and soloist Cassandra Trenary, both from the American Ballet Theatre, will join the evening to perform a romantic pas de deux.
Dance Instructors: Jerry Feldman and Celia Gianfrancesco teach foxtrot and waltz.
DJ: Gene Eagle
Saturday, July 1
An Evening of Swingin’ Rhythm and Blues with The Binky Griptite Orchestra
Style: Jump Blues, Rhythm and Blues
Singer, songwriter, and producer Binky Griptite is best known as the guitarist and emcee for the late Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings. This year, he comes to Midsummer Night Swing as leader of his own Rhythm and Blues orchestra, built specifically to pack the dance floor. “If people are sitting down, then that’s a problem,” he told the Village Voice. Binky and friends will keep the crowd stepping with their new old school blend of funk, blues, and soul.
Dance Instructors: John and Shoshana Krieger-Joven teach blues dancing.
DJ: Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus
Tuesday, July 4
David Ostwald's Louis Armstrong Eternity Band
Style: Classic Swing, Jazz
Louis Armstrong famously celebrated July 4 as his birthday (it actually was August 4). Midsummer Night Swing will celebrate his adopted date of birth as well as Independence Day with Grammy Award–nominee David Ostwald and company. Co-presented by the Louis Armstrong House Museum, the evening will celebrate icons of jazz with works by Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Jelly Roll Morton, and Bix Beiderbecke. Attendees will also enjoy a performance by the winner of the Intrepid: Battle of the Big Bands group dance contest.
Dance Instructor: Lainey Silver teaches Lindy hop.
DJ: DJ Va Va Voon
Wednesday, July 5
Issac Delgado Orchestra
Nicknamed “El Chevere de la Salsa,” Issac Delgado returns to Lincoln Center for the third time. Though his orchestra has been together for more than 25 years—known for its infectious melodies, driving Afro-Cuban rhythms, brilliant horn section, and legendary improv breaks—Delgado rose to fame in the late 80s as the lead vocalist of NG La Banda, considered the first timba band.
Dance Instructor: Jimmy Anton teaches salsa.
DJ: DJ Broadway
Thursday, July 6
A Celebration of Dawn Hampton with Ron Sunshine and his Orchestra and The George Gee Swing Orchestra
Style: Big Band Swing, Big Band Blues
This special evening celebrates the life of long-time friend of Midsummer Night Swing, Dawn Hampton, who passed away in 2016. Hampton—a saxophonist, and cabaret and jazz singer before she became a regular among New York City’s swing community—will be commemorated by her good pals, Ron Sunshine and his Orchestra and the 17-piece George Gee Swing Orchestra who will undoubtedly be inspired by Hampton’s advice: “let the music move you.”
Dance Instructor: Heather Flock teaches Lindy hop
DJ: Tomo Tanaka
On June 26 at 7:00 pm, a screening of The Lady's Lost Performance: Dawn Hampton's Life is What You Make It, rare live performance footage of the artist at the mic, will take place at Film Society of Lincoln Center’s Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center Amphitheater, 144 West 65th Street.
Friday, July 7
Style: Boogaloo, Latin Soul
Known as the “King of Latin soul,” Joe Bataan is riding a wave of renewed popularity in the wake of the acclaimed documentary film We Like It Like That: The Story of Latin Boogaloo. The East Harlem–raised Boogaloo pioneer brings his “doo-wop-tinged Latin soul songs” to the stage for an evening that celebrates this uniquely New York dance music.
Dance Instructor: Frankie Martinez teaches cha cha and boogaloo.
DJ: DJ Turmix
Saturday, July 8
Nu Disco LIVE! with performances by DJs Tommie Sunshine, The Golden Pony, Body Language and French Horn Rebellion featuring guest vocalist Megan Vice
Style: Nu Disco
DJs Tommie Sunshine and The Golden Pony kick off this evening with a combination of remixed classics and original beats. They’re followed by a pair of Brooklyn-based bands, Body Language and French Horn Rebellion, who meld disco, dance, electro, rock, and funk. They are joined by the genre-bending vocalist Megan Vice, who brings equal parts “glam and grit” to the evening’s lineup. Tommie Sunshine returns along with DJs JD Samson and Black Stereo Faith for the Silent Disco afterparty.
Dance Instructor: Edie Nightcrawler teaches indie
DJs: Tommie Sunshine and The Golden Pony
After hours Silent Disco powered by Quiet Events
Silent Disco DJs: JD Samson, Tommie Sunshine, and Black Stereo Faith, featuring Ultra Naté and Quentin Harris
Tuesday, July 11
Grammy-nominee Eddie Montalvo started keeping rhythms on the bongos as a five year old growing up in the Bronx. Eventually transitioning to the congas, he backed superstars Celia Cruz, Héctor Lavoe, Willie Colón, and Johnny Pacheco, and, in 1979, became the youngest member of the Fania All Stars. Montalvo’s most recent solo album, Desde Nueva York a Puerto Rico, was nominated for a Grammy for Best Tropical Latin Album category. For this special evening, Montalvo is joined by iconic composer, arranger, and trumpet player Humberto Ramírez, for an innovative take on big-band Latin dance.
Dance Instructor: Carlos König teaches salsa.
DJ: DJ Brian
Wednesday, July 12
Michael Gamble and the Rhythm Serenaders
Style: 1930s–40s Small Group Swing
International swing scene veteran and Lindy Focus festival founder Michael Gamble, makes his Midsummer Night Swing debut with the Rhythm Serenaders from Asheville, North Carolina. This all-star lineup—including Jonathan Stout on guitar and Laura Windley on vocals—brings lively arrangements of favorite dance tunes and American songbook classics from the 1930s and 40s made famous by Artie Shaw, Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Billie Holliday, and others.
Dance Instructors: Nathan & Gaby teach Lindy hop.
DJ: Ryan Mascaro
Thursday, July 13
The Aces of Rhythm: Hardcore Tango
Directed by Astoria Tango Orchestra’s Pablo Aslan, Aces of Rhythm transforms Damrosch Park into an outdoor milonga worthy of Buenos Aires. Inspired by the innovative style of legendary Argentinian bandleader Juan D’Arienzo, known as “El Rey del Compás” (“the King of the beat”), Aslan will provide the passionate soundtrack necessary for this sensual dance.
Dance Instructors: Pablo Pugliese and Noel Strazza teach Argentine tango.
DJ: Mark Sakowski
Friday, July 14
Texas Dance Hall Tour with Dale Watson & Ray Benson
Style: Honky Tonk
For the first time in nearly a decade, Texas two-step and Western swing make an appearance at the festival. The evening is an extension of the Texas Dance Hall Tour, which was created to celebrate the remaining rustic wood-floored halls that house Texas’s unique music, culture, and history. Ray Benson, leader of the seminal Western swing band Asleep at the Wheel as well as an originator of the Tour, and veteran singer and guitarist Dale Watson each played honky tonks and beer joints across the States and invoke the music of Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard, Buck Owens, and more.
Dance Instructor: Susanna Stein teaches two-step and waltz.
DJ: Meredith Ochs
On July 13 at 6:30 pm, Deb Fleming, president of Texas Dance Hall Tour, will lead a discussion about preservations efforts around the state’s dance hall culture at Film Society of Lincoln Center’s Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center Amphitheater, 144 West 65th Street.
Saturday, July 15
Harlem Renaissance Orchestra 13th Annual Tribute to Illinois Jacquet and
The Ambassador Prize Lindy Hop Dance Contest
Style: Big Band Swing
Always one of the most popular parties of New York City’s summer, Midsummer Night Swing culminates with an evening of all-out swing provided by the Harlem Renaissance Orchestra. Guardians of Harlem’s jazz scene past for two decades, the Orchestra summons the spirit of tenor saxophone legend Illinois Jacquet, who performed with Lionel Hampton, Cab Calloway, Count Basie, and many other legends before his death in 2004. High-octane renditions of tunes by the Count, the Duke, and Jacquet himself, will set the mood as New York’s best dancers face off for the Ambassador Prize, an homage to Lindy Hop icon Frankie Manning.
Dance Instructor: Margaret Batiuchok teaches Lindy hop.
DJ: Ryan Swift
Saturday, July 15
LC Kids Dance with Dancing Classrooms
Our popular annual LC Kids Dance, led by the visionary folks behind the social-emotional learning program Dancing Classrooms, invites dancers of all ages to learn a few merengue, tango, salsa, and swing steps during this afternoon of family fun set to music.
Dance Instructor: Rodney Lopez teaches ballroom
All programs and artists subject to change.