Urban Stomp: From Swing to Mambo

Urban Stomp: From Swing to Mambo is the first interactive arts-education series that shares important artistic, cultural and historic connections between these two genres to strengthen relationships between communities. The Fletcher Henderson Orchestra, with the resounding sounds of Louis Armstrong, helped lay the foundation for swing music as a distinct genre in the mid-1920s. Swing influenced the creation of mambo in Cuba; especially the style later popularized in 1950s New York by artists melding Afro-Cuban rhythms, innovative instrument arrangements and dynamic dance technique. Together, swing and mambo exemplified aspirations of a more democratic world performed at  venues such as the Savoy (nicknamed “home of happy feet”) and the Palladium Ballrooms (nicknamed “temple of the mambo”). The momentary spaces they open ignite new possibilities of greater equality, freedom and a shared humanity.

What This Project Does:

  • Shares the history and cultures of these art forms through interactive music/dance/fashion workshops, walking tours and sweaty, percussion-heavy events
  • Shows the importance of these two art forms through  multidisciplinary research, conferences, lectures, and exhibit curation
  • Elementary-university level, grade appropriate curriculum development
  • Facilitates professional development workshops for educators
  • Documents these exciting, living cultures through video and photography

Beginning in fall 2018, this project will include music/dance/history workshops for young people ages 14-21. The final workshop will be a community celebration for the whole family. These hands on workshops are led by master artists/instructors such as Mickey Davidson, Samuel Coleman, Gaby Cooke, Franck Muhel, Bobby Sanabria, Eddie Torres Jr., Shana Weaver and several New York based arts groups.

Take one workshop or take them all!

Click here to REGISTER  for free Urban Stomp Youth Workshops


This program is made possible by the generous support of the Louis Armstrong Education Foundation

Other co-sponsors and partners include: Center of Traditional Music and Dance; National Jazz Museum in Harlem; Abyssinian Baptist Church; Frankie Manning Foundation; Center of Latin American and Caribbean Studies at New York University; Bronx Music Heritage Center.


Project Director, Facilitator & Choreographer – Derrick L. Washington, Ph.D

Dr. Derrick León Washington is a cultural anthropologist, curator and dancer specializing in museum curation, experiential education, and expressive arts of the Americas. His fieldwork in Brazil, Cuba, Costa Rica, Spain, Mexico City, Washington D.C. and New York City has contributed to numerous exhibitions, performance workshops, and conference papers. Mr. Washington worked on the Will to Adorn exhibition/project at the Smithsonian Center of Folklore and Cultural Heritage and was the executive director of El Fogon Center for the Arts in New York City. As an Andrew W. Mellon Curatorial Fellow at the Museum of the City of New York, he conducted curatorial work on the exhibitions Activist New York and New York at its Core. He curated Rhythm & Power: Salsa in New York (June 15, 2017-November 26, 2017), a groundbreaking exhibition and expansive, interactive program series on salsa as an artistic social movement presented.. He is also the co-editor of the book, Rhythm & Power: Performing Salsa in Puerto Rican and Latino Communities (Centro Publications, 2017). His latest curatorial project, Dreams and Defiance: A World Re-Imagined, is a multi-site, curated program series and upcoming exhibition that explores the complicated links between social music and dance forms practiced in the Andalusia region of Southern Spain, Africa (notably North, West and Central Africa) and throughout the Americas. Mr. Washington’s recent work has been reviewed positively in the New York Times, British Broadcasting Company (BBC), Huffington Post, The National Broadcasting Company (NBC), Telemundo, New York Post, Jezebel, El Especialito, and numerous local and national radio stations.

Project Management – Naomi Sturm & Maureen Loughran, Center for Traditional Music and Dance

Teaching Artists:

Gaby Cook – Dancer, Choreographer, Educator

Samuel Coleman – Dancer, Choreographer, Educator

Mickey Davidson – Dancer, Choreographer, Educator

Bobby Sanabria –  Musician, Band Leader, Educator

Eddie Torres Jr. – Dancer, Choreographer, Educator

Eyal Vilner – Musician, Band Leader, Educator

Shana Maria Weaver – Dancer, Choreographer, Educator

Share This Page:

Join our Mailing List

For updates on upcoming events, initiatives and more.


Support CTMD

Help us reach out to more communities in the NYC area

Interactive Banner 2

Enter description text here.