Here are a few of the special people in the George Gee neighborhood!
AllAboutJazz.com: In George’s opinion, this is the best jazz portal online, sure to keep you updated on all matters in swing and jazz!
Allure Original Styles: Vintage clothing stylist Mutsumi Gee graduated from Tokyo’s top dressmaking school. Today she lovingly creates 1930’s-style garments through her company, Allure Original Styles. Her work combines authentic vintage patterns, extensive design research, and nearly two decades’ worth of personal experience. Her satisfied clients sport her handiwork across the USA and around the globe… customers send orders from Japan, Australia, England, Germany, Switzerland, Sweden, Italy, Finland, Greece and even Turkey! As she often says: “Vintage style never goes out of fashion!”
Dance Manhattan Studios: Elena Iannucci and Teddy Kern started this dance studio around the same time George Gee started the New York incarnation of his musical organization. The studio supported and promoted a series of ballroom/swing dances at the former Continental Club at Irving Plaza; this was among the first regular NYC engagements for the band. Today, more than 20 years later, Dance Manhattan is one of the city’s premier dance studios and still regularly promotes and hosts swing dances in its spacious ballroom… still often featuring the George Gee ensemble!
Midsummer Night Swing at Lincoln Center: This yearly outdoor music and dance festival is a highlight of every New York summer. Social dance styles celebrated over three weeks include country/western, salsa, ballroom, freestyle and, of course, swing! The George Gee Swing Orchestra has been honored to play this very special event a half-dozen times –-including in “battle” formats with bands led Loren Schoenberg, Dave Berger and Bill Elliot-– and we look forward to more in the future!
New York Swing Dance Society: In May 1987, a young Pittsburgher known as George Gee traveled to the Cat Club in Manhattan to perform at the first dance event held by the New York Swing Dance Society. It was there that Savoy Ballroom dance legends such as Frankie Manning, Al Minns, Norma Miller, Dawn Hampton (and more!) first heard his music. George Gee remembers the affectionate response; he heard later there was much discussion the next day up in Harlem dance halls of that “swingin’ Chinaman from Steeltown!” More than 35 years later, the George Gee Orchestra and the NYSDS still collaborate regularly to create some of the city’s most memorable swing events.
Pasadena Ballroom Dance Association: Don’t let the moniker confuse you—the PBDA is one of the West Coast’s swingin’est dance societies, promoting Lindy hop and swing dance for more than two decades. Founders (and sisters) Erin and Tami Stevens are generally credited with being among the first to rediscover storied Savoy Ballroom dancer Frankie Manning and coax him back to the well-deserved limelight. They also own and promote the ever-popular Swing Camp Catalina, held on Catalina Island in Southern California, where the George Gee Orchestra has been a frequent headliner.
SWING46 Jazz & Supper Club: Not only was George Gee’s orchestra the first swing band to appear on the SWING46 stage during its 1997 grand opening, but George also helped develop its “All Swing, All the Time” format as the club’s first music director. Now, more than 15 years later, SWING46 (located just off world-famous Times Square) continues to be home base for the orchestra, which appears every Tuesday evening and on many Fridays. Check the website and calendar for more information!
Yehoodi.com: Yehoodi.com was born during the continuing swing resurgence, and helped propel it to lofty heights of popularity. It must be remembered that the Internet was relatively new during the late 1990s, and Yehoodi.com was on the forefront, connecting communities of swing fans all around the USA and the world. Its name is a tribute to original hepster and big band great Cab Calloway, who asked: “Who’s Yehoodi?” Yehoodi.com continues to help fans connect and share, with weekly dances and special events, and a welcoming Facebook page.