Dawn Hampton never won a major lindy hop competition. She was not an original dancer from the Savoy era. As a musician, she was never awarded a Grammy or had a chart-topping hit. She was well-regarded in the cabaret scene in 1960s and 70s New York, but not much beyond there.
And yet, for lindy hoppers, she was a legend, an inspiration, a bad ass dancer, a super star. (Dawn, of course, would deny all of that and just say she was a ham.) If you didn't know Dawn, go read our own tribute and our friend Heather Flock's.
So it's a big deal when one of the most respected arts and cultural institutions in the United States, the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, chooses to honor Dawn Hampton during their Midsummer Night Swing festival.
On July 6, Midsummer Night Swing will feature two of Dawn's favorite big bands, the Ron Sunshine Orchestra and the George Gee Orchestra. The DJ will be one of Dawn's partners in crime Tomo Tanaka. The dance lesson will be Dawn's longtime friend Heather Flock. I hear there may be a multimedia presentation about Dawn in the works as well!
So if you are lucky enough to be in New York City at that time, or can get there, don't miss it!
The rest of the lineup for Midsummer Night Swing 2017 looks fantastic as well. It's one of our favorite parts of summer in New York. Check out this lineup:
- June 27: The Count Basie Orchestra
- July 4: David Ostwald's Louis Armstrong Eternity Band
- July 6: Ron Sunshine and George Gee Orchestras
- July 12: Michael Gamble and the Rhythm Serenaders with Laura Windley
- July 15: the Harlem Renaissance Orchestra
Looks like a killer diller of a festival. (Plus salsa, ballroom, and many other music genres.)