Mission Statement

Jelly Roll Productions is a not for profit organization committed to cultivating both Lindy Hop and live jazz by providing high quality dance events at affordable costs. Our ultimate goal is to reunite the music, the people and the dance, just like it was when it all began. Through this convergence, we strive to make great live jazz music accessible to dancers, and introduce (or reintroduce) more jazz artists to the unique creative outlet of playing for dancers. Jelly Roll Productions is dedicated to using the synergy of these two exciting art forms to increase the general interest and appreciation of jazz music and Lindy Hop.

Our goal is to continue to reach out to the jazz community and promote greater awareness to the joy that Swing and jazz brings to all. Our website is dedicated to thanking all the musicians who have played for us and to providing information about our events to dancers and jazz enthusiasts alike.

Being a New York City based organization, we make it our priority to host dance events that tap into the musical talent that this jazz capital has in store, and promote public awareness of Lindy Hop in the city where it all began. As we gain national recognition, we will hope to create more opportunities such as The Basie Centennial Ball.

Founders of Jelly Roll Productions

• Nicole Frydman
• David Jacoby
• Christine Tse
• Steven Wexler

 

Officers

David Jacoby (Shorty Dave)
David Jacoby started dancing and organizing events while at the University of Pennsylvania, where he was President of the Penn Ballroom Dance Society and co-founder of West Philly Swingers, UPenn's lindy hop troupe. Since 2001 he has been living in New York City, where he DJs, dances, and frequents jazz clubs as much as possible. He is the "House DJ" for Yehoodi.com's weekly dance, The Frim Fram Jam, and has also DJed at many national events such as the American Lindy Hop Championships, New Year's Extravaganza, North Atlantic Dance Championships, Summer Hummer, Boston Tea Party, Summer Swing Jam, Swingin' New England, Swing Fling and countless exchanges. David has yet to meet a bigger Gene Harris fan than himself.


Christine Tse
With a background in Material Science & Engineering, Lindy Hop might seem like a rather far stretch. Nonetheless, the dance and the music found their way into Christine’s life in 2000 as she was pursuing her M.S. at Carnegie Mellon University. She has since moved to New York and continues to dance regularly in NY and attend various regional/national dance events in the country. Christine began producing dance events in 2002 when she was asked to be the Managing Director of Frankie Manning's 88th Birthday weekend. She’s also assisted at the Harlem Jazz Dance Festival 2002 & 2003. Christine is a producer of executive business conferences and contributes to this talented, creative team, her “event engineering” skills.


Steven Wexler (Wexie)
Coming from a show biz family, Steven has been involved in dancing and studying the arts since the age of 5. In his teens, he got involved doing lighting, sound, and set-design in his local community. In college, he began producing events. He produced several "Rock Against Racism" concerts, and various Reggae, Ska, and Punk events. In cooperation with Steve Weitzman of Rolling Stone Magazine, he co-produced a large concert featuring legendary jazz guitarist Danny Gatton, and NRBQ. Steve graduated Hunter with degrees in Political Science and Media Studies.

Steve began studying Lindy Hop in 1998. With the support and encouragement from Dave Jacoby, Steven started to DJ in New York in 2001. Steve donated his time in Lindy events such as Frankie Manning's 88th Birthday weekend, the Harlem Dance Festival 2003, and of course all of Jelly Roll's highly successful events. Steven is honored to be a part of Jelly Roll team.

Samantha Simmons (Sammy)
Samantha has had an active background in visual arts and musical performance
since childhood. She has always had exposure to jazz music, an influence
from her New Orleans family roots, but didn't truly gain appreciation for
the music until only a few years ago. In late 2004, she attended a swing
dancing crash course through the suggestion of friends with the mindset of
meeting new faces and a hesitation to learning to dance. Since that very
first weekend, Samantha has truly immersed herself in both the dance and
interpreting the music she grew up loving through the dance. She currently
dances regularly both in NYC most nights of the week, as well as at national
exchanges and workshop weekends as often as her time allows.

Evita Arce
Although her roots are in Austin, Texas, where she studied jazz, tap, modern
and ballet, she comes to us most recently from Los Angeles, California where
she performed with Swing Un-Ltd., a performance company directed by the
renowned Ryan Francois and Jenny Thomas. Beginning as a musical theater
actress, Evita has played lead roles and danced solos in several
professional regional theaters in TX and CA and has appeared as a featured
dancer in a few films including "Be Cool" She has choreographed a number
of original musicals including
Lame and Tell the Bees. As a competitive
dancer she took 1st place for
Strictly Lindy at Bill Cameron's Dance Pros
Championships
, was a finalist in the national ALHC All American Division and
finished first in the 2002
Jack and Jill competition. Having moved to New York, Evita now brings her substantial teaching credentials to the swing staff of Dance Manhattan. As a teacher, performer, choreographer and frequent social dancer, Evita is a key "flutter-by" promoter and enthusiast for all of Jelly Roll's events.

 

From Left to Right: Shorty Dave, Sammy, Evita, Wexie, & Christine.

 

Our Amazing Staff
Outside of the founders, Jelly Roll Production enjoys the continued support of the following volunteers and many others who donate their time and energy for our events.


George Henik
Techncial Consultant

Yenneka Ketzis
Operational Assistant

Eli Pritykin
Staff Photographer.
See Eli's work on Flickr and on our Gallery Page.

Jean Migdal, Winston and Strawn
Attorney
*Very special thanks to Jean and the folks over at Winston & Strawn for being our amazing legal team.

 


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For information, or to get on our email list, contact us at:
news@jellyrollproductions.org