May 24, 2017
By Lauren Epstein | January 9, 2017 | Culture
The Jazz Age Lawn Party swings through South Beach this month, bringing a roaring 1920s celebration to Art Deco weekend.
Full Roaring Twenties regalia on display at the New York event.
Shaking hands with renowned jazz musician Michael Arenella is like entering a time warp. He sports a dapper haircut and checks the time on a pocket watch that he pulls out from under the jacket of a fitted old-fashioned suit. But this isn’t a costume or persona. This is who Arenella is, and he brings that authenticity to his Jazz Age Lawn Party, which hits Miami January 13 through 15 as part of the 40th annual Art Deco Weekend.
For nearly 12 years, the Jazz Age Lawn Party, a 1920s- and ’30s-themed extravaganza of fashion, dancing, music, and revelry, has breathed life into New York City summers by way of the past. “The ’20s and ’30s were the sexiest,” says Arenella. “The music, the fashion, the cars. The way people held their cigarettes. It was a very provocative era.” Set in the dunes of South Beach, Arenella says the Miami backdrop will put a new spin on the event.
“I’m tailoring my lineup to reflect that,” he explains. Regardless, Arenella is bringing his A game. “We’re going to do what we do best, play 1920s jazz, do 1920s dance numbers, serve great cocktails, and conjure up the ghosts of the past,” he says. “It’s undoubtable that the spirit of Miami is going to color that.”
PHOTOGRAPHY BY JANE KRATOCHVIL (STRIPED DANCER, BEIGE DANCERS); FILIP WOLAK (RED DANCERS)