Catalina Swing Dance Festival
What a perfect week-end! Sunny California I love you, especially when you bring me to an island called Avalon. “Twenty-six miles across the sea. Santa Catalina is a-waitin’ for me. Santa Catalina, the island of romance. Romance, romance, romance.” Yes, this little island made me very happy. I was invited as guest singer with the renowned Gordon Webster and his band at the Catalina Swing Dance Festival and I had the time of my life. I could hardly believe my eyes when I stepped into the enchanting Avalon Ballroom, and the mere thought of singing on that stage made me feel like a very lucky girl.
On the left are pictures of me with three of the most important swing bandleaders of our time. First you’ve got the inimitable Gordon Webster, originally from Canada, who is kind of a rock star in the lindy hop community. I always walk on stage ready to dodge the lace panties the girls may start throwing at him. Then you’ve got mister George Gee, whom I was meeting for the first time, and whose career took a drastic turn when he met Count Basie in the flesh: he decided to dedicate his life to swing. And last, but certainly not least, here I am with Pittsburg’s own sweetheart Paul Cosentino, leader of the Boilermaker Jazz Band and frequent guest clarinetist with Gordon Webster’s band. Paul is a great inspiration for young jazz musicians out there and he has taught me a lot about music, sophistication… and swing dancing!
Fun times in Avalon: sea, swing & sun!