Press Release

Aug. 18, 2007

CONTACT: Mary Collins, Collins Productions
PHONE: 651-231-7718

It Don’t Mean A Thing... If It Ain’t Got That Swing!

A Weekend of Swing, Jazz & Tap with Queen of Swing Norma Miller

Saint Paul, Minnesota --- Queen of Swing Norma Miller returns to St. Paul for It Don’t Mean a Thing If It Ain’t Got That Swing, a Weekend of Swing, Jazz & Tap celebrating the history, music and dance that came out of the Harlem Renaissance.  At each event Ms. Miller will be on hand to share stories of her years on the road (and boy does she have a few!) and to sign copies of Al Governor’s children book based on Norma’s childhood in Harlem, Stompin at the Savoy.

Highlights include the St. Paul and Minneapolis premiers of the documentary Queen of Swing.  The 90 minute documentary will be shown at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, September 1 at the Tapestry Folk Center, 3748 Minnehaha Avenue South, Mpls. (TC Swing’s First Saturday Swing Dance featuring the Swing Beat Big Band follows at 7:30 p.m.)  On September 7 at 7 p.m. the film will be shown at the Virginia Street Swedenborgian Church, 170 Virginia St. (at Selby). Suggested donation is $10.  

Narrated by Bill Cobbs, Queen of Swing takes an inside look at Norma Miller's influence in the globalization of America's jazz culture, and her and her fellow artists’ role in racial integration.  Produced by Florida filmmaker John Biffar, this full length documentary takes an inside look at Norma Miller's influence in the globalization of America's jazz culture, and her and her fellow artists’ role in racial integration. 

Featuring interviews with Bill Cosby, Frankie Manning and the late Leonard Reed, footage of Ms. Miller dancing in the films Hellzapoppin and A Day at the Races; and the musical sounds of her road family…Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Count Basie and Sammy Davis Jr. this film captures the magic of the early days of Swing & Jazz.

On Saturday, September 8, 2 – 6 p.m. Collins Productions is hosting an Urban Family Garden Party, at the Collins’ family home, 965 Selby Avenue (at Chatsworth.)  The joint will be hopping as Mary Collins opens up her family’s historic home for an old fashioned family Urban Garden Party in celebration of her dear friend, Norma Miller, who will be holding court.  The party features live entertainment, a tasty soul food sampler, delectable desserts, children’s play area and silent auction.  Open to the public, suggested donation is $10 adults, $5 seniors and children under 5.

Ms. Miller will also make appearances at TC Swing’s Thursday Swing Dance at Tapestry Folk Center on September 6 and at 7:30 p.m. at the Pazaz 2nd Sunday Swing Dance at the Four Season’s Dance Studio, 1637 Hennepin Avenue, Minneapolis on September 9.

Norma Miller is an author, choreographer, dancer, comedian and actor whose career spans over seven decades. Discovered at the age of twelve by the Savoy Ballroom's legendary dancer Twist Mouth George, Ms. Miller has been in show business ever since.  Honored with a National Heritage Foundation Fellowship from the National Endowments of the Arts for her role in creating and continuing to preserve "the acrobatic style swing dance, known as the Lindy Hop," Ms. Miller is an inspiration to all who know her.

Featured in Ken Burn’s PBS documentary JAZZ, Ms. Miller is also the subject of Al Governor’s recent children’s book, Stompin’ at the Savoy.  Ms. Miller is currently working on her third and fourth books, Swing Baby Swing and Me & John Biffar, a behind the scenes look at the deep friendship that developed during the ten years of filming Queen of Swing.

A portion of the proceeds from each event will benefit Collins Productions, a 501 (c) 3 which strives to teach underserved children and others in the community about the history of Swing & Jazz Dance & Music and the significant role they played in American History…and bring the country’s dance legends to the Twin Cities to share their stories.

For more information, tickets, volunteer and sponsorship opportunities for It Don’t Mean A Thing…If It Ain’t Got That Swing events, including showings of the Queen of Swing documentary in St. Paul at the Virginia Street Swedenborgian Church and in Minneapolis at the Tapestry Folk Center; and the Collins Productions’ Urban Family Garden Party at the family’s historic home, please contact Collins Productions by phone (651) 231-7718 or by Email at