Happy New Year! Just a reminder that the upcoming Frankie Manning workshop is less than two weeks away! Jan 16 - 18, 2004 Again, Friday night's An Evening with Frankie Manning at Ashkenaz is a must for anyone new to the scene (and it's also a great way to introduce friends to swing dancing) -- and it's FREE. Afterwards, you can also dance to Lavay Smith for just $13. Saturday and Sunday we shift to the Lake Merritt Dance Center, and of course, the workshop with Frankie. Also, new this year is an expanded set of elective classes: from Balboa to Blues, Partner Stealing to Slides and Fancy footwork, there are sure to be classes that will appeal to not only beginning, but intermediate and advanced dancers as well! Saturday night will also feature The 2nd Annual Shiny Stockings Swing Ball, with renowned jazz vocalist Mary Stallings and her band. In conjunction with the Doghouse (which WILL be CLOSED Jan 17), Lake Merritt Dance Center, and Springboard Productions (the folks that brought us Barbara Morrison and Junior Mance), we expect it to be a swingin' sell-out party at the LMDC's art deco styled ballroom. (We've included a short bio on Mary Stallings at the end of this email). There are two ways to register for the workshop/dance: the usual mail-in-a-check method (the registration form is in downloadable PDF format), OR register online through PayPal by visiting www.ncls.com Individual tickets for the Shiny Stockings Swing Ball are $25 and can be purchased online or at the door (if there are any remaining!) They will also be available at a number of your favorite dance venues. Note that the ticket is $20 when purchased as part of a workshop package, which includes the full weekend pass, or Saturday or Sunday only w/ticket passes. Check our website for complete details: www.ncls.com MARY STALLINGS BIOGRAPHY "the best jazz singer singing today." Barry Singer - The New York Times "one of the most distinctive and compelling jazz singers on the scene." Andrew Gilbert - Down Beat "Mary Stallings sings with a torch singer's conviction." Karl Stark - The Philadelphia Inquirer Mary Stallings is a jazz treasure. People are astounded to discover that such a great talent is only known to a selected and devoted fan base. In a world where MTV and marketing taint the perception of all music; she remains a reminder of what jazz was and still is today. Barry Singer of the New York Times called her "the best jazz singer singing today." Her traditional approach to standards mixed in with a touch of timeless hipness, makes her a traditional modernist. Mary Stallings' voice had the soulful flare of Dinah Washington with a sweetness that is all her own. When she scats around changes she displays an impeccable sense of time and rhythm. In her ballads she shows us her understanding of the marriage between lyrics, melody, and space. All of this experience is a combination of a true gift couples with the experience of working with such jazz greats as Count Basie, Billy Eskstein, Cal Tjader and Dizze Gillespie. Mary soaked up valuable information from these giants. These legends and many others are all apart of the history that lies beneath her sound. Mary has been very busy for the last few years. Her latest CD Mary Stallings Live at the Village Vanguard has been in the top ten nationally for the last two years. From festivals in Persia Italy to standing ovations at Lincoln Center, Ms. Stallings has been impressing eager fans with her brand of straight ahead jazz. Lorraine Gordon, owner of the Village Vanguard says it best about Mary, "she's one of the few singers living today that deserves to step on the stage of the Vanguard, who would believe that a sound like hers could still exist today!"