Come Dance the Night Away in New York City

NEW YORK - New Yorkers will again have the opportunity to enjoy the city's quintessential summertime entertainment experience and dance the night away under the stars as Verizon sponsors the 2003 season of Midsummer Night Swing at Lincoln Center.

Expected to draw as many as 1,000 dancers and 5,000 music lovers each night, the Midsummer Night Swing series begins tonight and runs Wednesdays through Saturdays through July 26. Each night features the world's best dance music, from top bands to small orchestras, playing outdoors at Lincoln Center's Josie Robertson Plaza located at Columbus Avenue between West 62nd and West 65th Streets.

"Verizon is delighted to be the lead sponsor of this popular Lincoln Center event," said Bruce Gordon, president of Verizon Retail Markets Group. "Midsummer Night Swing is all about enjoying New York City's beautiful evenings by dancing and listening to the best music of our time."

The event is made possible through a grant from Verizon Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Verizon Communications.

Lounge lizard Buster Poindexter starts the series off. Additional artists include Wynton Marsalis, the Cab Calloway Orchestra and Jimmy Bosch. Each night features a different headliner, and the music ranges from swing to salsa, rumba to polka, tango to two-step and more.

Leading ballroom instructors offer 45-minute complimentary dance lessons beginning at 6:30 p.m., followed by dancing and music from 7:30 p.m. (a half-hour earlier than in previous years) until 10 p.m. The events are hosted by popular New York City radio personalities and include raffles with prizes of free tickets to future Lincoln Center events and other special merchandise.

The Cab Calloway Orchestra will be on the bandstand at a special event July 10 featuring desserts of 40 of New York's top pastry chefs. Bounty from Aureole, Fleur de Sel, Picholine, Greyston Bakery, Rosa Mexicano, Zarela, Sage and Soutine will be featured, along with sweets from others.

Kids are in for a special treat June 28 and July19 when lessons in ballroom basics will be offered by leading dance instructors from the American Ballroom Theater and Stepping Out Studios. Beginning at 4 p.m. and running until 5:30 p.m., the kid-and parent-event will include demonstrations from top dance competitors and will be capped off with a DJ-led dance party on the spectacular Midsummer dance floor. Admission is $5 per person.

Verizon Foundation last year awarded 22,000 grants totaling more than $70 million to nonprofit agencies that focus on improving basic and computer literacy, enriching communities through technology, and creating a skilled work force. The foundation uses its resources in the U.S. and abroad to develop partnerships in technology and connect them with organizations serving the needs of diverse communities, people with disabilities, victims of domestic violence and the economically and socially disadvantaged. The foundation also supports Verizon Volunteers, an incentive program that last year encouraged Verizon employees to volunteer more than 500,000 hours in their communities and provided $27.8 million in gifts to nonprofit organizations. For more information on the foundation, visit www.verizon.com/foundation

Verizon Communications

A Fortune 10 company, Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) is one of the world's leading providers of communications services. Verizon companies are the largest providers of wireline and wireless communications in the United States, with 136.6 million access line equivalents and 33.3 million Verizon Wireless customers. Verizon is the third-largest long-distance carrier for U.S. consumers, with 13.2 million long-distance lines, and the company is also the largest directory publisher in the world, as measured by directory titles and circulation. With approximately $67 billion in annual revenues and 227,000 employees, Verizon's global presence extends to the Americas, Europe, Asia and the Pacific. For more information on Verizon, visit www.verizon.com.