Wednesday, April 30, 2008

CELEBRATE 31 YEARS OF JAZZ AND 31 DAYS OF ATLANTA WITH THE ATLANTA JAZZ FESTIVAL

This year marks the 31st anniversary of the Atlanta Jazz Festival, celebrating another year of electrifying performances and exhilarating events that Atlantans hold so dear. “By exploring the beauty of Atlanta, says Camille Russell Love, Director of the City of Atlanta Office of Cultural Affairs, “the Atlanta Jazz Festival is taking full advantage of what the city has to offer and has submerged every corner of Atlanta in magnificent music and the arts.”

The theme of this year’s festival is 31 Years 31 Days Atlanta. Following this theme, the City of Atlanta Office of Cultural Affairs has created a precursor to the festival, the Neighborhood Jazz Series, which highlights the explosion of culture in four of Atlanta’s eclectic neighborhoods over four weekends in May. Neighborhood Jazz enhances each neighborhood’s cultural experience by connecting people through music, art and festivity

The highlighted neighborhoods are Castleberry Hills, Virginia Highlands, Midtown and will culminate over Memorial Day Weekend, May 24th -26th, in downtown Atlanta at Robert W. Woodruff Park. The Neighborhood Jazz Concert schedule is as follows:

May 3rd Castleberry Hill
7pm – 10pm
LOFT @ Castleberry Hill - featuring Days Ahead
170 Northside Drive, Atlanta 30313

May 10th – Virginia Highlands
8pm – 10pm
An Evening of Jazz under the Stars featuring The Michael Dana Group
Jimmy Carter Presidential Library
441 Freedom Pkwy, Atlanta 30307

May 16th – Midtown
5p - 10p
Friday Jazz at the High featuring Melvin Jones
High Museum of Art - Robinson Atrium, Stent Family Wing
1280 Peachtree Street, NE, Atlanta, Georgia 30309
$18 per person; Free for High Members

A full 2008 Atlanta Jazz Festival artist line-up and schedule of events will be announced soon.
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Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Talent abounds!

Last night as I was working on the Fayette Front Page I listened to some music via YouTube. It's a fun way to listen to music. You start with one artist of choice, say Seal singing "Kissed by a Rose". Off to the side of the video if you scroll down you'll find a list of "Related Videos" which could be anything under the sun. For instance, with the example of Seal's Kissed by a Rose, there could be a song about a seal or a video about kissing roses, but usually it would be another Seal song or the same song by another artist.

I went hopping from video to video discovering talents I've missed (some who've been around, some who are just beginning to make it, some who want to make it). I thought I'd share some of those I considered outstanding...




This one they've blocked from embedding so you'll have to click the link and go listen (bet you save it ;-) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T2NEU6Xf7lM&feature=related

I gather these guys are all European Idols... One, is the "World Idol". I have to admit that I watch Idol, but I've never felt the urge to rave about any of the singers, or buy their music. This year I'm impressed with David Cook and may have to break down and stop being such an Idol snob . I listened to Kurt Nilsen, the World Idol, without knowing initially that he had anything to do with the world-wide Idol series. He doesn't look the part and may not have made it here in the U.S. despite his phenomenal voice.

In the group song they go off key at the very end, but other than that I was impressed.

YouTube is a great way to expose yourself to music you might not ever hear otherwise.

I like to stop in Barnes & Noble's music section on occasion when I have some spare time and listen to musicians I've never heard before. I bought a Matt Dusk CD doing that --- great find! I found Andrea Bocelli that way years back.

I also "discovered" Michael Bolton's "secret passion", opera (I bought his CD titled "My Secret Passion"). Bolton was one I could take or leave, enjoyed but wasn't overwhelmed with his talent. I learned to appreciate him a bit better after hearing him sing one operatic aria in concert many years back. It never crossed my mind that he could really "sing" until them! When I saw the opera CD at B&N, had to give it a shot. He and Bocelli are the extent of the opera in my collection at the moment.

I have eclectic taste in music, will listen to Meat Loaf, the the score from Phantom, then a country... OK, nuff on my tastes. Go put in your favorite artist on YouTube then go exploring, try something new. Bet you'll be surprised at what you discover.

I'll leave you with one YouTube that might surprise you, Luciano Pavarotti singing "It's a Man's World" with James Brown...

Friday, April 25, 2008

Grand Opening for Greenville Street Park in Newnan Features "The Wrights" in Concert

Join the City of Newnan in celebrating the grand opening of Greenville Street Park Saturday, April 26th! There will be a free concert featuring the country music’s husband and wife duo, The Wrights. The concert will start at 7 P.M.

In 2005 with the release of their debut album Down This Road, on ACR/RCA, The Wrights joined an elite class of critically acclaimed artists that represent the best of what music city has to offer. Now, with their upcoming EP, The Wrights on independent label ACR they hope to build upon the success of the first release.

The husband and wife duo have worked, lived and breathed for music since the moment they met nearly ten years ago when Adam joined Shannon on stage at a gig in Atlanta . They had an undeniable connection and their musical collaboration took root immediately, both of them drawn to timeless sounds and artists – Willie, Hank, Aretha, Dylan. The easy harmony was impossible to ignore.

“Greenville Street Park is truly a fabulous park for the City of Newnan . The City wanted to bring a first class act to the park and The Wrights just fit the bill. They are hometown favorites with national acclaim and we are excited to bring this kind of music act to the public and as our opening concert for the park,” said Gina Snider, the City’s Public Information Officer.

After a little more than 12 months of construction activity, the much anticipated Greenville Street Park is almost complete and ready to open to the public. The Greenville Street Park is a two acre urban park nestled between Greenville Street , LaGrange Street , and Salbide Avenue and strategically placed on the edge of the historic Greenville/LaGrange residential neighborhood, its commercial district, and is within walking distance of historic downtown Newnan. The urban type “hardscapes” park was designed as a first class gathering place for downtown patrons, lunch time crowds, afternoon and evening musical concerts, and other festive events.

The park features a 25 column colonnaded entrance, a terraced lawn area and stage that serves as a small amphitheatre, a water fountain, brick plazas, a covered pavilion, and plenty of tables and chairs. Meandering paths, secluded benches, and extensive landscaping compose the balance of the new park. The Greenville Street Park will also feature two sculptures, one by prominent Atlanta artist, Martin Dawe, and the other by local renowned artist, Carol Harless. Ms. Harless’s sculpture is not scheduled to be completed and installed until late summer.

“ Greenville Street Park is a first class recreational facility. We look forward to all the gatherings and events that will take place here. I would like to personally invite the citizens of Newnan to join us a part of this grand opening ceremony,” said Mike Furbush , the City’s Landscape Architect.

by Forrest Shultz

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Spivey Hall Welcomes Prospective Students to Clayton State

Each year, Spivey Hall brings thousands of potential college students to Clayton State University through its music education programs. For many students, it’s their first time to set foot on a college campus.

In October, 125 high school students took a break from their choir rehearsal to hear about the academic programs that Clayton State University offers. Clayton State senior Ivan Segovia, who is a student assistant in Spivey Hall’s box office, addressed the students.

“I participated in the Spivey Hall Choral Workshop when I was in high school, and it’s because of the incredible workshop experience, and the opportunity to sing in this beautiful hall, that I decided to enroll at Clayton State University,” he said.

Candace Henry, a Clayton State alum and current admissions counselor, also spoke to the students. Not only did she inform them about the various academic degrees on campus, but she also revealed that she, too, had been a member of a previous Spivey Hall Choral Workshop. That was her first introduction to Clayton State University.

While some students are actively trying to decide which college to attend when they come to Spivey Hall for the first time, others become acquainted with the hall, and consequently the campus, at a very early age. Young People’s Concerts (YPC), for example, are school-day field trips designed for students in all grade levels, from pre-K to grade 12. It is not uncommon for Spivey Hall Education Manager Amber Dimkoff to have a child shyly look up at her and say, “I was here last year. Do you remember me? I’m so glad I got to come back this year!” Many teachers pack lunches for their students and they sit outside on the lawn, or walk to the gymnasium in the Athletics & Fitness Center, to eat lunch after the concert. The children feel so grown-up knowing that they are on a “real” college campus participating in college student-like activities.

Similarly, the Spivey Hall Children’s Choir Program (SHCCP) is comprised of students between the ages of 10 and 18. Some have been members for eight years, traveling every Monday night, year after year, to Clayton State University to rehearse and create beautiful music. These children not only “grow up” in Spivey Hall, but they also represent the University as its cultural ambassadors, singing in venues throughout the United States and in countries across the world. This summer the Spivey Hall Tour Choir will represent Clayton State University when they perform at the widely known Oregon Bach Festival, and in June 2009 when they give a 10-day performance tour in China.

Established in 1993, the Spivey Hall Education Committee began identifying music education needs in the communities surrounding Clayton State University. In 1994, both the Spivey Hall Children’s Choir Program and Young People’s Concerts were launched. Fourteen years later, the SHCCP now involves 170 students in three choirs, and YPCs brought a record number of students to Spivey Hall in 2007/2008. However, Spivey Hall’s educational programs also include two choral workshops, a chamber orchestra workshop, a jazz workshop, master classes, and professional development opportunities for music teachers. More than 15,000 students and their teachers travel from some 18 counties to Spivey Hall each year for these programs.

For more information about Spivey Hall’s educational programs, please email Dimkoff at AmberDimkoff@clayton.edu or visit www.spiveyhall.org/education.

A unit of the University System of Georgia, Clayton State University is an outstanding comprehensive metropolitan university located 15 miles southeast of downtown Atlanta.
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Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Spivey Hall Children’s Choir Releases New CD, I’ll be Seeing You

The Spivey Hall Children’s Choir announces the release of its third CD, I’ll Be Seeing You, now available through Spivey Hall at Clayton State University.

I’ll Be Seeing You presents a collection of favorite works performed throughout the history of the Spivey Hall Children’s Choir. Recorded live in Spivey Hall in the spring of 2006, the CD, produced by ACA Digital Recording, Inc. of Atlanta, features 21 songs sung by 48 of the most advanced students in the program conducted by Dr. Martha Shaw, founding artistic director of the Spivey Hall Children’s Choir and professor of music at Shorter College in Rome, Ga., with piano accompaniment by assistant director Judy Kerlin Mason.

Songs on this CD range in style from classical sacred works and spirituals, to “America the Beautiful” and a medley of popular tunes by Johnny Mercer. The title track, “I’ll Be Seeing You” by Irving Kahal & Sammy Fain and arranged by Harris M. Wheeler, is a nostalgic musical tribute to the hundreds of Children’s Choir Program participants who have formed deep and lasting friendships as a result of their participation in this outstanding ensemble.

The CD also features the world-premiere recording of David L. Brunner’s “A Song for Every Child,” dedicated to Martha Ellen Stilwell, a long-time Clayton County Schools music educator whose encouragement led to the formation of the Spivey Hall Children’s Choir. “A Song for Every Child,” inspired by the introduction to Songs of Innocence by renowned British poet William Blake (1827-1857), was commissioned for the Spivey Hall Children’s Choir in loving memory of Bill & Lillian Loucks with a deeply appreciated gift from Southwind Enterprises, Ltd., and Steve and Nancy Rieck, whose daughter, Kristin Rieck, is among the Choir members singing in the recording.

I’ll Be Seeing You features additional works by living American composers who have responded to the recording with enthusiastic praise. Morten Lauridsen, recognized internationally as a leading composer of choral works, is represented on the CD with his song “Dirait-on” from Les Chansons des Roses, set to poetry by Rainer Maria Rilke (1875-1926). Wrote Lauridsen to Shaw, “Many thanks for sending the recording of `Dirait-on.’ It's beautifully done in every way. So musical! Please convey my congratulations and appreciation to your superb singers and Judy. Your interpretation is right on the money. Bravo!”

Similarly, composer Larysa Kuzmenko rejoiced after hearing this CD, and writing to Shaw: “I would like to thank you and congratulate you all for the most outstanding, and professional performance of my choral songs, `Stars,’ `Night’ and `Winds’! The performance was so musical, sensitive and very moving! The mood was captured so well for each song. I could not ask for a better interpretation than this! This was actually the first time I heard a performance of `Night,’ it was stunning!”
Copies of I’ll Be Seeing You (ACA CM20101) priced at $15 are available from the Spivey Hall Box Office, (678) 466-4200, and may be purchased via credit card, cash or check. All proceeds from sales of the CD benefit the Spivey Hall Children’s Choir annual touring activities, which this summer include participation in the Pacific International Children’s Choir Festival (PICC Fest) and a performance on June 28, 2008 at the prestigious Oregon Bach Festival in Eugene, Ore.

Dedicated to excellence, the Spivey Hall Children's Choir Program has provided exemplary choral music education to its singers since 1994. Comprised of both male and female students ages 10 through 18, this treble choir program is for soprano and alto singers. Consisting of three choirs, the program draws students from 18 metro-Atlanta counties, offering them professional-level instruction in vocal pedagogy, music theory, sight singing, ear training, and presentation as well as exposure to a variety of choral styles. Involvement also enhances young people's lives, helping them to develop self-reliance, personal integrity, responsibility, compassion, and confidence in their abilities.

Spivey Hall and the Spivey Hall Children’s Choir Program receive funding support from The Walter & Emilie Spivey Foundation. Spivey Hall receives additional support from the National Endowment from the Arts, Georgia Council for the Arts, and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

For more information visit www.spiveyhall.org/shcc.

A unit of the University System of Georgia, Clayton State University is an outstanding comprehensive metropolitan university located 15 miles southeast of downtown Atlanta.

Friday, April 18, 2008

BORDER COLLIES TO PERFORM AT THE LAWRENCEVILLE FEMALE SEMINARY

Visit the Lawrenceville Female Seminary on April 25 at 8 p.m. for the latest performance in the Coffeehouse Nights live music series, which features local musical artists performing various types of music. This month, the Border Collies will perform.

The Border Collies are a contemporary Celtic band featuring a unique blend of traditional and contemporary Celtic and folk influences in their music and their compositions. Based out of Atlanta, the band performs regionally around the southeast at concerts, festivals and clubs.

Founding members Michael Robbins and Caeri Tomson met while attending Swannanoa Celtic Week in July 1999. Their first performance was given at the student showcase and they both returned to Atlanta enthused and energized by the Swannanoa experience and began writing songs and developing material. The band released its’ first CD in December 2000 titled, “Live at the Variety Playhouse.” The CD captured the live performance at a concert celebrating the Celtic New Year to a near sold out crowd at Atlanta’s Variety Playhouse. Their 2002 CD release, “The Road from Swannanoa,” showcases the band’s original compositions and their ability to interpret and arrange traditional material.

Admission is $4 for Gwinnett History Museum members, $5 for non-members. Coffee, drinks, and desserts will be available for purchase. For more information, call 770-822-5178. The Lawrenceville Female Seminary is located at 455 South Perry St. in Lawrenceville.

Monday, April 14, 2008

J.C. Booth Musicians Excel in State Level Performance

Middle School Bands Achieve Top Scores in Evaluations

Two J.C. Booth Middle School bands, under the direction of Mr. Robert Burton, scored straight “1’s”, the highest marks possible, in the 6th District Performance Evaluation March 26 and 27.

The 6th Grade Advanced Band and the Symphonic Band consisting of 7th and 8th graders played for other competing bands and judges who scored them on technical abilities, sound and stage presence, among other things.

The Symphonic Band scored a “1” in sight reading, the most difficult part of the festival. The group was given a grade level “4” piece of music (out of 6 levels) that they had never seen before. They were given three minutes to look at the music individually followed by three minutes of guidance from the director. Then they played.

The judges awarded them with “A’s” in all categories, commenting that it was an “outstanding performance,” noting that excellent instructions were given by the director during the study period.

The Symphonic Band also performed three prepared pieces and were awarded a rating of a “1”. Comments from the judges told the story. “You should be so proud!” wrote one judge. “You made people listen! Fantastic!”

The 6th Grade band performed at the same high level, achieving a rating of “1” in both sight reading and performance.

“I am extremely proud of all these young men and women,” said Director Burton. “The minute they stepped off the bus they were all business; they listened and took great direction. They pulled together as a team and directing them was a pure pleasure.”

The performance evaluation program, sponsored by the Georgia Music Educators Association, is an evaluation procedure of musical performance and sight-reading abilities for individual students, performing groups, and teachers. Recognized authorities in the field of music education critique the participation of bands and musicians during a planned performance evaluation schedule and provide their written and/or oral opinions. The goal of the program is to promote musical knowledge through performance; to raise student standards of musicianship, instrumentation and technical knowledge; and to offer students and teachers the opportunity of extended listening to the best work of peer groups from other schools.

ENJOY A COMPLIMENTARY MUSICAL EVENING IN THE GARDENS WITH THE ATLANTA SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA

Enjoy a complimentary "Musical Evening in the Gardens" by the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra (ASO) at Callaway Gardens on Friday, April 25, 2008, from 8:00 p.m. to approximately 9:30 p.m.

For the first time ever, the ASO, directed by ASO Assistant Conductor Mei-Ann Chen, will take the stage on Robin Lake Beach to perform fun, recognizable, upbeat music as well as a special tribute to our armed forces.

“We are so delighted to have this incredible opportunity to host the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra at Callaway Gardens,” said Edward Callaway, chairman of Callaway Gardens. “To hear beautiful music in our natural setting with friends and families will provide for a spectacular event. We invite everyone to be a part of this great night.”

Bring your blanket* and head to Robin Lake Beach to enjoy this musical event under the stars. Dress is casual. Enter through the beach gate on U. S. Hwy. 27 beginning at 5:30 p.m.

This wonderful evening is provided by Callaway Gardens, Cousins Properties Inc. of Atlanta and the Pine Mountain Tourism Association.

For more information, visit www.callawaygardens.com/atlantasymphony or call 1-800-CALLAWAY (225-5292). Special overnight packages are available.

Callaway Gardens®, is in Pine Mountain, Ga., 60 minutes southwest of Atlanta and 30 minutes north of Columbus.

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The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, now in its 63rd season, is considered one of America’s leading orchestras, known for the excellence of its live performances, presentations, renowned choruses, and its impressive list of Grammy® Award-winning recordings. The leading cultural organization in the Southeast, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra serves as the cornerstone for artistic development and music education in the region. Under the creative partnership of Music Director Robert Spano, Principal Guest Conductor Donald Runnicles, and President and CEO Allison Vulgamore since September 2001, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra performs more than 200 concerts each year to a combined audience of more than a half million in a full schedule of performances which also feature educational and community concerts, including Starbucks Free Parks concerts and ASO Around Georgia, a statewide initiative which over the past six decades has taken the Orchestra into more than 30 counties and 60 communities throughout the State.

Callaway Gardens®, a premier travel and meeting destination in the South, is owned by the non-profit Ida Cason Callaway Foundation™ (ICCF). Within the 13,000 acres of Callaway Gardens is a resort, preserve, almost 100,000 square feet of meeting space, 931 guest rooms, restaurants, shops, golf, tennis, fishing, shooting club, gardens, butterfly conservatory, horticultural center, chapel, inland beach, nature trails, and additional attractions. For more than 50 years Callaway Gardens has provided “a place of relaxation, inspiration and a better understanding of the living world” for millions of visitors. Callaway Gardens is committed to its mission of environmental education and land stewardship for the benefit of future generations.

*Tents are not permitted.

The Atlanta Balakaika Society Presents a Concert of Russian and Eastern European Folk Music

The Atlanta Balalaika Society will present a concert of Russian and Eastern European folk music on Saturday, June 7, 2008 at 8:15pm at Spivey Hall, Clayton State University, 2000 Clayton State Blvd., Morrow,Ga. 30260. Tickets are $20.00 and may be purchased in advance by calling (678) 466-4200 or at http://www.spiveyhall.org/.

The concert will feature domra virtuoso Angelina Galashenkova-Reed, bayan soloist Alla Mulvehill and the Zelyaskovi Bulgarian Ensemble.

The Atlanta Balalaika Society, now in its 27th year, is one of the largest orchestras of Russian folk instruments outside of Russia, and is the primary promoter of Russian folk culture in the Southeast. Colorfully dressed in traditional folk costumes, the orchestra performs on balalaikas, domras, and bayans (Russian button accordions), along with other ancient wind and percussion instruments.

The Atlanta Balalaika Society is a non-profit 501(c)(3) community orchestra dedicated to the performance and preservation of Russian and Eastern European folk music in the Southeast and in the United States.

The evening’s performance will be conducted by David C. Cooper.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Fayette Senior Services Celebrates 30th Anniversary with Bluegrass & Barbeque

Fayette Senior Services is celebrating 30 years of making a positive difference in the lives of hundreds of Fayette County’s seniors.

To commemorate the agency’s anniversary, Fayette Senior Services will host “Bluegrass & Barbeque – a Down Home 30th Anniversary Celebration” to be held on Friday, May 16 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Guests will enjoy great barbeque and musical entertainment by the award-winning Musselwhite Family. The Musselwhites are best-known for their close family harmony and hard driving bluegrass instrumentals.

The event will be held at Fayette Senior Services beautiful new life enrichment center located at 4 Center Drive in Fayetteville (across from the Fayette County Justice Center). Tickets are on sale now at Fayette Senior Services and must be purchased in advance. The cost is $12 for Center members and $15 for non-members. In honor of the agency’s 30th anniversary, 30 door prizes will be given away throughout the evening.

Fayette Senior Services promotes the emotional, social and physical well-being of adults age 50 and better. For more information about Fayette Senior Services call 770-461-0813 or visit www.fayss.org.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Christ Our Shepherd Lutheran Church in Peachtree City will present the Rust College A’Cappella Choir in concert on Saturday, April 12, at 5:00 p.m.

The A’Cappella Choir features a broad repertoire of classical, spirituals, opera, and contemporary and traditional gospel music. The choir has toured Africa and has made two European trips as Ambassadors of Friendship. They have appeared on Good Morning America and the International Protestant Hour. Most recently the choir competed and won first place in the 13th Annual American Negro Spiritual Festival in Cincinnati.

The choir was founded in 1936, and is currently conducted by Mr. Zebedee Jones.

Rust College is a four-year, historically black, fully-accredited liberal arts college in Holly Springs, Mississippi. Founded in 1866 by the United Methodist Church to educate newly-freed slaves, it boasts an enrollment of nearly 1000 students.

The concert is free, but an offering will be taken for the college’s scholarship fund. Christ Our Shepherd is located at Georgia Hwy. 54 and Peachtree Parkway.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Clayton State University Wind Ensemble to hold Spring Concert at Spivey Hall

Clayton State University’s Wind Ensemble will hold its spring 2008 concert in Spivey Hall on Apr. 9 at 7:30 p.m. Admission is free.

A special piece by a Clayton State senior music composition student Christel Vinot (Jonesboro), entitled “Forsaken Past,” will be featured among the night’s program.

“The original version of this piece, for string orchestra, trumpet, piano and percussion, received its premier in 2005 by the Southern Crescent Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Dr. Richard Bell,” explains Vinot. “It was so well received that I decided to re-orchestrate the piece for wind ensemble. I was very pleased with the result, and would like to thank Dr. Patrick Carney and the Clayton State University Wind Ensemble for doing such a great job!”

The concert will also feature the Clayton State University Brass Ensemble, Flute Trio, and Percussion Studio. The Wind Ensemble will also perform works by Holst, Yurko, Gillingham and O’Loughlin.

For more information, contact Carney, Clayton State’s director of bands, at (678) 466-4745 or by email at Patrickcarney@clayton.edu.

A unit of the University System of Georgia, Clayton State University is an outstanding comprehensive metropolitan university located 15 miles southeast of downtown Atlanta.

31st ANNUAL ATLANTA JAZZ FESTIVAL ANNOUNCES FUTURE OF JAZZ COMPETITION VII WINNERS

The City of Atlanta Office of Cultural Affairs announced today the six winners of the Future of Jazz Competition VII. The Future of Jazz Competition was created in 2004 by Tammy Allen along with the Office of Cultural Affairs, to showcase Atlanta’s emerging jazz talents and provide them with an opportunity to perform their original compositions at the Atlanta Jazz Festival. “Jazz is a true American art form,” asserts Office of Cultural Affairs Director, Camille Russell- Love, “The Future of Jazz competition provides insight into where future generations will take this genre."

Partnering with Atlanta Party Starters and SmoothAtlanta.com, this year’s competition spanned six weeks beginning January 29th at Sambuca Jazz CafĂ© in Buckhead and ending March 4th at Star Jazz and Blues in the Castleberry Hills District. Jazz enthusiasts were able to enjoy fine dining and great ambiance while listening to live music from future jazz greats. Each night three bands battled it out for the ultimate prize; performing on stage at the 31st Annual Atlanta Jazz Festival in front of thousands upon thousands of avid jazz lovers. “There was an incredible amount of talent in this year’s competition,” says competition founder Tammy Allen, “it’s always a bummer when you have to choose a winner - they’re all good.” Six winners were selected by a panel of industry and celebrity judges and were chosen from six jazz sub-categories. Each of the winners will receive a $500 prize from the Atlanta Jazz Festival and will play in the festival’s 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. time slots each day.

The six winners of the Future of Jazz Competition are as follows:
January 29th: Contemporary Jazz Instrumental - ZON 3
February 5th: Contemporary Vocal Jazz - Heather Johnson
February 12th: Nu Jazz – Bradford
February 19th: Straight Ahead Instrumental - Mace Hibbard
February 26th: Fusion Jazz - Genetic Drift
March 4th: Straight Ahead Vocal - Kemba Cofield

Friday, April 04, 2008

ATLANTA AREA YOUTH COMPETE IN THE 8th ANNUAL YOUTH JAZZ BAND COMPETITION

The Atlanta Jazz Festival in partnership with Spelman College and Jazz 91.9 WCLK, presents the 8th Annual Youth Jazz Band Competition. Created to showcase young jazz talent from more than 400 youth from middle and high schools throughout the metro Atlanta area, the competition is a great vehicle for young enthusiasts to pursue and broaden their knowledge and understanding of jazz music. “The Youth Jazz Competition is a great way to promote middle school and high school jazz bands and encourage jazz education,” said Camille Russell Love, Director of the City of Atlanta Office of Cultural Affairs. “This competition allows these students to showcase their immense talent and gives them a chance to shine on the main stage at the Atlanta Jazz Festival.”

The Youth Jazz Band competition will be held at Spelman College in the Cosby Academic Center Auditorium on Saturday, April 26, 2008, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and is free and open to the public. Three bands will be selected to open the 31st Annual Atlanta Jazz Festival, held Memorial Day weekend, May 24th - May 26th. One of the three bands will open each day of the festival with a performance on the Main Stage.

2008 Participating Schools to Date are:
• Burney-Harris-Lyons Middle School Jazz Ensemble
• Centennial High School Mighty Knight Jazz Ensemble
• Henry County High School Jazz Band
• Inman Jazz Eagles
• J.C. Young Jazz Ensemble
• MLK Jazz Band
• Riverdale High Jazz Band
• Sandtown Middle School Jazz Band
• Shamrock Middle Jazz Ensemble
• Tucker Middle School Jazz Band
• Wheeler High School Jazz Ensemble

ABOUT THE ATLANTA JAZZ FESTIVAL
The Atlanta Jazz Festival, an annual musical showcase, celebrates jazz legends and up-and-coming jazz greats in venues throughout metro Atlanta during the month of May and culminates in a 3-day music festival on Memorial Day Weekend. It is the mission of the Atlanta Jazz Festival to expose and entertain a diverse audience of jazz aficionados, young jazz enthusiasts and musical artists to the rich heritage and variety of jazz as an authentic form of traditional music. The 2008 Atlanta Jazz Festival builds on the success and heritage of previous festivals by continuing its expansion with a 31-day schedule. Sponsors of this year’s festival are: The Coca-Cola Bottling Company, JW Pepper, Atlanta CVB, Publix Supermarkets, JazzTimes, Mapex, Anheuser Busch, Spelman College, Brand Atlanta, Smart Music, WCLK 91.9, Upscale Magazine, Sheraton Atlanta, BET Jazz, and TD Entertainment. For more information on the Atlanta Jazz Festival, please call the information hotline at 404.853.4234 or visit the website at www.atlantafestivals.com.