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New Meetup: Lavay Smith & her Red Hot Skillet Lickers @ Rancho Nicasio

From: Steven M.
Sent on: Saturday, April 4, 2009 12:45 AM
Announcing a new Meetup for 'Zoot Suit' - Bay Area Swing Dancers!

What: Lavay Smith & her Red Hot Skillet Lickers @ Rancho Nicasio

When: May 9,[masked]:00 PM

Where: Click the link below to find out!

Meetup Description: Lavay Smith is internationally recognized as The Queen of classic Jazz & Blues in the authentic style of the 1940's and 1950's. Lavay's">Lavay's last album received a prestigious 4 1/2 Star review in Downbeat magazine and reached the top 10 on the National Billboard Jazz Charts. Most swing dancers are familiar w/ Lavay's style, but for newbies- here are a few professional assessments praising her style: ?Lavay is wonderful! She and her band are a breath of fresh air. It is so unlikely and so exciting that a band would appear on the scene today that plays classic jazz and blues so well and so convincingly.? ?The San Francisco-based Lavay Smith Her Red Hot Skillet Lickers are a notable exception to the retro-swing norm. The saucy vocalist and her eight-piece crew actually know the difference between jump music and bland R&B in corny suits. They have been a working unit since 1989 and sound as tight as the legendary musicians they choose to emulate.? ?Hands-down the best thing to come out of the jump/swing revival...the gal can sing her tail off.? ?Outstanding...the real deal. Unlike some retro-swing outfits that put posturing above musicianship, Smith and her red-hot musicians are schooled in the nuances of blues, swing, and bop.? ?As a singer, Smith is both ravishing and compelling, and her band, led by pianist Chris Siebert, is world-class.? Do see: http://www.lavaysmith.com .

Lavay @ Rancho Nicasio is a splendor, firstly Rancho Nicasio Restaurant & Bar (On the Town Square) in Nicasio is an old "roadhouse" from the 30's. Far away from traffic & the city- it is simply a beautiful place to be. The atmosphere @ Rancho Nicasio is suburb- outdoors pitch darkness & a sky full of stars (ooops- the full moon is 5/9- so do watch for werewolves ;)) ).
Dinner is optional but yummy w/ a full menu. Portions are big & easily shared. I personally cannot dance w/ a bellyful of food & prices for the show have not posted on the Restaurant's webpage but I remember last year it was $13 or so. R.N. offers a nice (and fairly large) wooden dance floor, a full bar adjacent to the restaurant & the dancers from Santa Rosa regularly attend. It is a very nice & special experience to dance & see the show here.

More on the History of Rancho Nicasio (C&P from its website):

Tucked away, among the rolling hills of West Marin County, sits the quaint village of Nicasio. Nicasio, which means "the hidden one". is a town that has been unspoiled by time. The town, which had its beginnings somewhere around the mid 1800s, has seen people come and go, yet has not lost many of the characteristics that it possessed approximately one hundred and fifty years ago. Located at the exact center of Marin County, Nicasio still retains a vast amount of land that has seen slow and gradual progress. These changes have not disturbed the tranquility that the town still possess.

The early beginnings of Nicasio were lead by pioneers. Cattle grazing, saw mills, and fishing became the top industries. Nicasio became a thriving town and the Hotel Nicasio was built in 1830 to accommodate the influx of new people. Traders would come great distances and spend time at the hotel to bargain for cattle and timber. The hotel's twenty two rooms were virtually filled to capacity by traders and San Franciscans, who spent weekends and vacations in the pleasant and peaceful valley.

The boom of Nicasio faded with the advent of the railroad and the hotel burned down shortly before WWII on December 15, 1940. One year later, Rancho Nicasio was built where the hotel once stood and once again became the meeting place for the townspeople. The town square consists of Rancho Nicasio, St. Mary's Church (est. 1890), a general store, post office and a volunteer fire department.

Nicasio has retained its rural atmosphere and tranquil beauty. The community still looks like a frontier town, a place where change is slow and predictable. The town gradually drifts through time, at an unnoticeable rate and will most likely boast those characteristics for many years to come.

Hope you all can make it. As the show starts @ 8:30- 8:00 is a good time to meet. I'll call this a walk-in but won't use my credit card to reserve anything (but perhaps a few spaces) because of the possibilities of people not showing & me being charged, nonetheless- I'm sure it will work out & if need be, I'll p/u 2 or 3 people from the East Bay to conserve gas & resources.

Learn more here:
http://www.meetup.com/bayareaswingdancers/calendar/10112123/

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