Frankie Manning’s birthday is May 26th but celebrations can't be contained to just a single day, so the entire month of May honors his contributions to Lindy hop and his positive spirit.
Frankie Manning’s Grave at Woodlawn Cemetery
Frankie Manning is very much at home with nearby graves of the likes of Duke Ellington, Illinois Jacquet, Miles Davis, Celia Cruz and Lionel Hampton (whose stone, appropriately, bears the inscription, “Flying home.”) The final resting place of Frankie Manning is marked by a strikingly beautiful, etched stone showing Manning in his youth, executing a signature airstep, and in later life, as the teacher and guardian of history that we all knew and loved.
Manning’s headstone was created by the world renown artisan, Leon Rader. The headstone has been donated through generous donations of $1000 and more by friends, family members and swing dance organizations that had close ties to Manning during his lifetime.
You are welcome to come and visit the grave at Woodlawn Cemetery at any time and pay respects to this great man. Located in the Bronx, New York, the cemetery is an easy trip from Manhattan by public transportation or by car. Parking is available. Once at the cemetery, you can stop in at the gatehouse for directions to Frankie Manning’s grave Restrooms are located at the gates; there are none near the gravesite. It will be about a 10-minute walk or a short drive. Find directions and downloadable maps here. When you stop at the office on the way into the cemetery, you can ask for a special map for a self-guided tour of the jazz greats.
Frankie 100 Projects
Frankie 100 took place in New York City May 22nd to 26th, 2014. The event was the largest swing dance event of modern day and brought together over 2000 dancers from 47 countries to honor Frankie Manning and to name his birthday, May 26th, as World Lindy Hop Day. The festival celebrated the roots and origins of Lindy Hop and Big Band Swing with historic events including the show, Swingin’ Frankie’s Way, at Harlem’s World Famous Apollo Theater.
Though it’s been some time since the event took place, some projects related to the event are still available.
Frankie 100 Commemorative Book
Deborah Huisken and others compiled rich storytelling and history about Frankie Manning, the swing era, and the swing revival in this book.
Cynthia Millman, Lennart Westerlund, Adam Lee, and Chris Wells put together Educational Panels that featured over 40 experts on a wide variety of swing dance and music topics. Programs featured fascinating information, lively discussion, film/music clips, and audience Q&A.
The One 8-Project
The One 8-Project is a stop-motion animation featuring 760 Lindy Hoppers from 37 countries. The project was shot in front of a green screen at Frankie100 and is work of art for the sake of art. The Swing Mexico team has been working tirelessly to mount this beautiful and ambitious project.
Frankie Manning Quilt
The quilt is made from commemorative t-shirts that Frankie had collected during his teaching and travels in the swing dance resurgence years of 1985 until his passing in 2009.
Owned by Frankie Manning Foundation benefactor, Lana Turner of Harlem; Designed and constructed by Jen Pringle