Hey, good-lookin.
We’re MezzJelly.

In 1999 we hit the scene with a motto: “Take Fun Ridiculously Serious.”

Our long-time fans will tell you they always study harder AND party harder here!

Originally a bunch of enthusiastic dancers with no idea what we were doing… so of course we threw a second event. And another. Along the way we educated ourselves and the international community.

As we (mostly) matured, so have our events:  Workshops diving deep into roots. Parties that give a dance high. Fresh inspiration. Strong community focus. In other words…an experience!

Join our next one-time-only festival: a BIG APPLE-sized Blues Shakedown!

New York, NY
July 28-30 2017

We’ve put on one-time special events around the world in these cities & others …they were never the same again *dun dun dunnnnnn*

Hamburg, Germany
Toronto, Canada
Washington, DC
Portland, OR
Cleveland, OH
Pittsburgh, PA
Berlin, Germany
Waterloo, Canada
About MezzJelly

The Full Story

a.k.a. What the %*#& is a “MezzJelly”?

TL;DR

Over 18 years we’ve:

  • rarely been in the same city twice
  • explored a variety of Afro-American idiom dance
  • been 100% driven by the culture and history
  • aimed to bring something fresh internationally & locally
  • sometimes skipped event years
  • always been ‘unique’

Now for the story…

In the beginning (1999, remember? from the top of this page?) we had no idea what we were doing. But we knew we liked this “dancing” thing …and that we sucked pretty royally! So we got a crew together to push ourselves, inspire each other, perform, laugh, and just generally celebrate the spirit of community.

We threw events; first in shadowy basements and sunny living rooms, but when other people started joining – dancers from far away who had caught the same spirit – suddenly we had no choice but to up our game with bigger events.

Our first events were as varied as our hunger for dance:

THE BABY YEARS

“The 1st Annual MezzJelly Dance Competition” [1999, Pittsburgh] brought dancers from all the surrounding states! The competition (for cash money, woohoo) was fierce as we one-upped and challenged each other and were inspired in return.

In a time when YouTube didn’t exist a.k.a The Dark Ages, “All The Cats Join In” [2000] was focused on traditional Jazz routines like the Tranky Doo & Big Apple. This was our first top-shelf Festival Weekend. We couldn’t get enough of these dances we’re so passionate about!

Versus [2001, Cleveland] was the ultimate cross-scene Grudge Match. Michigan, Ohio, and Pennsylvania competed in an unforgettable challenge thrown-down featuring hot Big Bands and wacky dance games.

THE FIRST MEZZJELLY BLUES

2004 was a memorable year. George Bush got re-elected. Facebook began. ‘Friends’ ended. We only cared about dancing with all our favourite people. We gathered some of our most-loved instructors and bands into Blues-y hotspots around Pittsburgh. And then something weiiiiiird happened…

…a *%$#-ton of dancers showed up. From Everywhere! We were the definition of unprepared; hell, one of our late-nite venues was a tiny studio apartment, causing the party to spill out into the hallway and even the front yard until the sun came up. It was a miracle we weren’t shut down by the cops (as we were the next year in DC…)

But we had caught the Blues! We were inspired and riding on a ‘Dance High’ which was all that mattered!

SPREADING THE BLUES

Enjoy dancing in Washington, DC?  MezzJelly Blues [2005] was the first Capital Blues festival! We were working on our goal of inspiring scenes to pick up the Blues and grow with it!

How about the West Coast?  Portland, OR [2007] was our first stop on the Pacific side. We loved the passion of their community!

Do you like those wacky dancers in Canada?  We had a gut-busting fill of the Blues in Waterloo [2008] AND in Toronto [2013] where we featured our biggest instructor line-up to-date!

OTHER MEMORABLE DATES IN TIIIIIIME

We could have spared Europe… but we didn’t.   “American Blues Classic” [2013, Germany] was just one of the inspiring events we’ve been hosting on the other side of the ocean.

Can’t get enough of that “Sweet Soul Music”? Neither could we!   MezzJelly Soul [2008, 2009, Dallas] featured all the classic hallmarks of a Mezz event: classes, live bands, and sweatin’ all night long!

NO, SERIOUSLY…. WHAT’S A “MEZZJELLY”?

It was supposed to be temporary; we needed a name fast, we had a copy of Cab Calloway’s 1939 “Hepcat’s Dictionary” handy and… BOOM!

Mezz (n.) — anything supreme, genuine — Ex., “this is really the mezz”
Jelly (n.) — on the house

The name stuck, guaranteeing that people would forever NEVER know whether there’s a space between those words (there isn’t!). All we cared about was having the most “supreme” time worth having — dancing.

Let’s Dance!

MezzJelly Blues Experience