Brunch with the Queen of Swing on Oct 16th
(Published: October 05, 2011)
Norma Miller dubbed "The Queen of Swing" is appearing at a special jazz brunch on Sunday, Oct 16 from 2-5pm at the Lenox Lounge, 288 Lenox Avenue, Malcolm X Boulevard
124th & 125th, New York City
Norma Miller (born 2 December 1919 in Harlem, New York) is an American swing dancer known to many people as The Queen of Swing. The daughter of parents from Bridgetown, Barbados, Miller was born and raised in Harlem, New York. She was interviewed along with dance partner Frankie Manning in Ken Burns documentary Jazz. Discussing the early days of swing dancing, Norma describes the start of her dancing career at the Savoy Ballroom (which was just across street from where she lived) during the early 30s in Harlem. Discovered at the age of twelve by the Savoy Ballroom's legendary dancer Twistmouth George, Ms. Miller has been in show business ever since.
Miller was a member of Whitey's Lindy Hoppers. The author of several books, Norma Miller's Swing Baby Swing, chronicles the evolution of the swing dance culture into the 21st century. Norma Miller's biography, Swingin' at the Savoy: A Memoir of a Jazz Dancer, recollects her youthful encounters with Ella Fitzgerald, Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Billie Holiday, Benny Goodman, Artie Shaw, Ethel Waters, and other jazz musicians.
Miller was honored with a 2003 National Heritage Foundation Fellowship from the National Endowments of the Arts for her role in creating and continuing to preserve "the acrobatic style swing dance, known as the Lindy Hop".
In addition, Norma Miller has been featured performing in a number of movies, including some of the most viewed vintage movies by Lindy Hoppers and swing dancers worldwide: the Marx Brothers' A Day at the Races (1937) and Hellzapoppin' (1941); Spike Lee's Malcolm X (1992); Stompin' at the Savoy (1992), John Biffar's Captiva (1995), along with documentaries such as the National Geographic's Jitterbug (1991) and the Smithsonian Jazz series on NPR.
In the 1960s, Norma Miller began working with Redd Foxx at his comedy club and later joined him on his 1970s television series Sanford and Son, serving as a stand up comic, actor and choreographer. In Ken Burns's documentary Jazz (2001), Norma's recollections provide a first-hand account of the Harlem music and dance scene of the 1930s and '40s.
Since her time at the Savoy Ballroom, Norma has also worked on film and TV with the likes of Richard Pryor, Bill Cosby, and Ella Fitzgerald.
Her latest documentary, Queen of Swing, narrated by Bill Cobbs, takes an inside look at Norma Miller's influence in the globalization of America's jazz culture and her and her fellow artists' role in racial integration. The documentary features interviews with Bill Cosby, Bill Cobbs, the late Frankie Manning, and the late Leonard Reed.
The historic Lenox Lounge has been in the Harlem community since 1939, serving as the back drop for many jazz legends such as Billie Holiday, Miles Davis, and John Coltrane. The Jazz Club also known as the Zebra Room was once used by the Harlem Renaissance writes James Baldwin and Langston Hughes. It was also said to be a hangout for Malcolm X.
The Lenox Lounge has been featured in magazines, music videos, photo shoots, and motion pictures. In 1999 it underwent a costly restoration process to bring it back to its original splendor
More Information: http://lenoxlounge.com