I’m currently having a grand time at “Lindy Focus,” a weeklong celebration of lindy hop and swingin jazz in Asheville, North Carolina. Held in the Crowne Plaza Resort in Asheville, the hotel basically gets overrun by 1,000 or so lindy hoppers and jazz musicians for seven days of festivities. There’s classes, jazz jams, vintage clothing vendors, and of course lots and lots of dancing. It’s kind of like Herrang in a hotel.
One of the highlights of Lindy Focus for me is the emphasis on live jazz. As the MC said last night, you can’t walk down the hallways without tripping over a jazz musician. Every night features two live bands, a larger arrangement in the main ballroom led by LA’s Jonathan Stout, and a smaller combo in the late night room.
Each night has focused on a specific jazz legend. The first night was Count Basie. Last night was Artie Shaw. And tonight is Duke Ellington! I feel like I’m going to jazz school at very concert, where the hardest choice is whether to listen to the band or dance to them. SO EPIC.
There’s dancing literally all night until early in the morning. Last night’s dance party started at 9pm and went straight to 6:30am. There’s a lindy room, a balboa room, and a blue room most nights. And there’s dancing in the hallways, dancing in the bar to the pick-up band, basically dancing wherever there’s a flat surface and music.
And yet, it’s actually a pretty chill vibe here. There’s lots of self-organized fun like a board game group, Asheville city outings, mini-parties in people’s hotel rooms, and more. It seems pretty easy to just suggest something on the Facebook group and get other people to do something with you.
Here’s a video recap of last year’s Lindy Focus.