By Alex McGrath–
Every evening, urban sights and sounds of the inner city surround the lot of Louisville’s Pendennis Club. On the night of March 25, however, tapping feet and sounding brass sought relief within the club’s wooden ballroom from the concrete sidewalks. The 90-year-old club hosted the sixth annual Jumpin’ Jive, sponsored by the Friends of the School of Music and the Pendennis Historical Foundation.
The night of food, dancing and jazz raised money for student scholarships at U of L’s School of Music. Attendees were welcomed by dinner and a silent auction, then embraced with music performed by the School of Music’s Jazz Ensemble II and conducted by Jerry Tolson.
Although eyes and ears were mainly on the stage’s accompaniment, ballroom dancers grabbed the attention, too. They twirled and sidestepped to complement the ensemble with their own visual appeal.
Nevertheless, Jumpin’ Jive is best understood when considering all of the night’s features.
With natural dark oak interior and warm red carpet, Pendennis Club houses a ballroom, a billiards room and bar area. Events like Jumpin’ Jive are held regularly on weekend nights. Guests are often found dining and conversing with, as the Pendennis Club states, “decency, decorum, civility, good manners and social graces.” Even though this might impose a stiff image, dancers still let loose underneath the ballroom’s sparkling chandeliers.
Student Madelyn Hagan enjoyed the event despite the age difference. “I was the youngest guest there by far,” Hagan said. “But that did not stop me from enjoying the music and dance.”
In front of the musicians, all boundaries vanished – expertise nor age matter. The ears focus on the music, and the feet on the movement. With all elements considered, Jumpin’ Jive provides a night of good fun, free of care.