Theme night 1: the Women of jazz

Theme night 1: the Women of jazz

Credit: written by Nirav Sanghani

Hi folks!

To kick off our first DJ theme night at the 9:20 Special, we are going to pull from the rich catalog of female musicians, composers, and bandleaders.

We’ll DJ the innovative music of the great female bandleaders and composers from throughout the twentieth century plus tunes from a broad swath of the many talented and creative women making this music today.

While we’ll certainly play music from popular creative powerhouses like Ella Fitzgerald and Billie Holiday, we’re going to try to expose you to lesser-known artists and recordings as much as possible. We especially want to emphasize on the role of women as bandleaders, composers, arrangers and featured instrumentalists.

Afterwards, we will publish our set lists along with notes about why each tune was included. Do send us any suggestions / recommendations if you have any.

See you there!

Nirav and Dhruv

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And so they begin: music theme nights at the 920 Special!

Hello fellow 920 Special dancers!

I am really excited – next Thursday (Mar 30, 2017) we kick off our monthly ‘music theme’ nights. I don’t think this is something that has been tried at the 920 Special before.

What does that mean?

For the foreseeable future, every last Thursday of each month will be a ‘music theme’ night. Each theme night will be focused on some aspect of this wonderful music we all are so hopelessly addicted to. On some nights, we might focus on some particular musician(s), on others we might focus on a sub-genre or a portion of jazz history (Historic Savoy battles! Territory Bands! Sidemen that later led their own bands!); or perhaps even geography (Swing outside the US, anyone?)

We are starting big: March is women’s history month. We could not do better than focus on some of the most amazing, inspiring women jazz and swing musicians through the decades, including this most recent one.  But more on that in a later post.

Why music theme nights?

Music is such a massive part of our dance. For many of us, it’s why we dance!

Of course, knowing the music makes you a better dancer – how often have you heard about dancing to the music; or being part of the music as you dance?

But beyond all that, beyond the mechanics, the rhythms and melodies, the theory and the beat; there is a deeper connection to be had with this amazing music we love.

Who all is involved with this? Which DJ will represent which theme?

Why, your very own 920 Special DJs. We are incredibly lucky in having some of the best DJs in the country. I know that each one of my DJ colleagues makes every night they DJ look easy – but I also know there’s a lot of hard work, passion and dedication behind it. In other words – every theme night is going to be amazing because our DJs really are the best!

We’ve designed this together, as a team. I reached out to everyone earlier this year. Most of them responded enthusiastically; even though a theme night is definitely more work than a ‘regular’ night.

We came up with tons of ideas. Everyone voted for their favorite ones – what nights they would like to be involved in. Naturally, some themes were super popular – after all, everyone wants to be part of a Duke Ellington/Count Basie showdown! Other themes are more challenging – not too many takers for those. So we’ve created a schedule of these theme nights while respecting both peoples’ preferences and availability.

How can you help? Get involved?

For starters, let me know what you think! What are some themes you’d like to see? What are some artists you’d want to see featured? What’s important to you? How did the night go? Come talk to us – Iris, Kirk, Allen or me.