"People last year had the best time, and everyone was down there
learning how to dance swing," said Amy Rebman, assistant Downtown
This year's Swingin' Sounds from Downtown will have a bit of a
Latin twist during August.
July will feature swing music, but Thursday nights in August will
feature American and Latin jazz.
Last year's event also began in July but stopped in August,
picking up again in September with "Beach Party Nights."
About 500 people showed up each Thursday night, but the outdoor
dance concert lost some of its momentum by stopping during August,
Downtown manager Gail Stewart said.
So this summer, the city will keep everyone dancing with hot salsa
nights and cool evening jazz the second month.
"That's why we've tweaked it and tried to make it more exciting so
people will say, 'Wow, that was so fun. I want to do it next year,'"
The event also gives residents a chance to "come out and play" in
Downtown and experience its shops, restaurants and other nightly
entertainment amid the music, Stewart said.
"It's just so fun seeing everybody enjoying it together," Stewart
Jazz is something every family member can enjoy and the music
crosses generations, she said.
Jazz, especially swing, is timeless and embedded into American
culture so it's natural for everyone to enjoy, said Michael Andrew,
band leader for Swingerhead, which will kick off the concert series
"It's no question that the music I'm presenting is our country's
music," said Andrew. "It's not going to ever go away. It's part of
our culture and I think it will be for every generation."