Dance all night to stride jazz
KINGMAN – It is a piece of American history and culture that lives on to this day right here in Kingman, in the likes of stride jazz pianist Mike Lipskin and jazz vocalist Dinah Lee.
The two play a style of jazz that is largely unheard these days, adding new twists to old classics all while remembering and respecting and remaining faithful to the original composition.
Stride jazz is a “vibrant” and filled with “nuance and power” that was a significant part of the Harlem Renaissance, a flourishing of African American art, music, literature and poetry centered in New York City’s Harlem neighborhood.
African Americans dominated the jazz scene in the 1920s.
It was a popular kind of jazz in the 1920s and 1930s and was made famous by Fats Waller, James P. Johnson, Count Basie and Duke Ellington, who frequently performed at the Cotton Club, was one of the most influential jazz bandleaders and composers of all time.
It was called “stride” because jazz critics would say the left hand strode across the keys playing a long range of notes between the low section of the piano and the middle section of the piano, Lipskin wrote on his website. This left hand movement helped give the piano its own full rhythm section, a necessity before jazz musicians began incorporating more bass in their sets.
“All this combined with the right hand melodic or stride riff improvisations make a rocking, swing beat,” he wrote.
“Jazz is the original art form we gave to the world,” Lipskin said. “It’ll be nice for people to remember that.”
Lee and Lipskin are performing from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Saturday, March 23 at the Gallery at the Kingman Center for the Arts, 208 E. Beale St. They have planned a 16 to 18 song set mixing vocals, piano, and records.
Tickets can be bought at the door for $15 or online from the Beale Street Theater. A third of each ticket price goes back to the KCA, Lipskin said.
For further information, contact Lipskin at 928-529-2100.
Everyone is encouraged to come and listen, and dance the night away like 100 years ago.
“My greatest thrill as a musician is when couples get up and dance,” Lipskin said. “I play dance music.”
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