Arts & Culture

Swing into Spring with Hepcats, UK Jazz Ensemble

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 1, 2011) − The Hepcats Swing Dance Club invites the public to a Big Band Swing Dance. Dancers and music aficionados of all ages are welcome to attend the event benefitting the University of Kentucky Jazz Ensemble scheduled for Saturday, April 9, at the UK Student Center Grand Ballroom.

The UK Jazz Ensemble is the featured band for the event. The ensemble, directed by Miles Osland, the director of UK Jazz Studies and professor of saxophone in the College of Fine Arts, consists of the most talented students from the nationally recognized and award-winning UK Jazz Studies Program.

Music showcased at the event will include original arrangements of the great big bands of the swing era, including pieces from artists like Duke Ellington, Benny Goodman, Count Basie, Glenn Miller, Jimmie Lunceford and Artie Shaw. Band member Ian Cruz will also perform several great vocal arrangements by Frank Sinatra and Bobby Darin. 

Proceeds from this event will help the UK Jazz Ensemble’s fundraising efforts for its 15-day tour of Europe, including performances at two of the world's most prestigious jazz festivals, the Montreux Jazz Festival, in Montreux, Switzerland, and the North Sea Jazz Festival, in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. This tour will be the most extensive international tour of a UK ensemble.

The UK Jazz Ensemble frequently tours the Midwest and South with notable performances in Chicago, Cincinnati, Columbus, Dayton, Louisville, Notre Dame, Tennessee and Georgia, and invitational performances at the International Association of Jazz Educators Conference and the Midwest International Band and Orchestra Clinic.

In addition to live performances, the ensemble is also very active in the recording studio. Five recordings from jazz studies have been recommended for Grammy nominations and received four-star reviews from DownBeat Magazine.

To see part of UK Jazz Ensemble's performance of "Matt's Mood" by Matt Catingub, click play on the video below.  



The Hepcats Big Band Swing Dance will also feature the Rhythm Cats, led by Mike and Mary Richardson. The Rhythm Cats specialize in the Lindy Hop and the Balboa forms of swing dance. They are sponsored by the Hepcats, an organization dedicated to promoting original swing dances, as well as the original music of the 1930s and 1940s swing era.

The evening’s festivities will begin with free swing dance lessons at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, April 9. Music and dancing will begin at 8:30 p.m. and end at midnight. Complimentary refreshments will be provided. Tickets to the dance are $12 in advance, or $15 at the door.


For more information on the Big Band Swing Dance or the Hepcats, visit the Hepcats' website at or contact Mike Richardson by phone at (859) 420-2426 or by e-mail at

For more information on the UK Jazz Ensemble or to donate to their European tour, contact UK Jazz Studies at (859) 257-8173.