Art, jazz to be featured this week in downtown events
By Ty Johnson
Published in News on October 24, 2012 1:46 PM
Edwin Mitchell, foreground, and Alando Mitchell perform during the kickoff of the Arts Council of Wayne County's week of jazz Monday.
Downtown Goldsboro this week becomes a haven for jazz fans as the Arts Council of Wayne County and Downtown Goldsboro Development Corp. are bringing artists in to celebrate the city's music traditions through Jazz on George and the Arts Council's gallery grand opening.
The strains of smooth jazz will emanate from the 100 block of North George Street Saturday from 1 until 7 p.m. as The Monitors, Marcus Anderson and Goldsboro native Nicholas Cole will bring their acts to the event, which will feature vendors R.A. Jeffreys and Coca-Cola among others.
While Jazz on George is the main event, though, the music begins Thursday night as the Arts Council will host its ribbon-cutting and the premiere of two new exhibits at its new downtown headquarters at the corner of John and Walnut streets.
The African American Music Heritage Trail Portrait and How Can I Keep From Singing exhibits will be on display Thursday from 6 to 9 p.m. where refreshments will be served. There will also be jazz music featuring Willie Dupree.
The event will also mark the Arts Council's progress as it establishes Goldsboro along the African American Music Heritage Trail, a historic trail formed by the N.C. Arts Council that meanders through eight counties in eastern North Carolina.
The N.C. Arts Council has contacted, documented and commissioned portraits for artists in Wayne, Greene, Wilson, Jones, Lenoir, Nash, Pitt and Edgecombe counties that have contributed to the region's jazz history.
The agency also sponsored the Arts Council of Wayne County with a $7,300 grant for Jazz on George and other events leading up to it, including Thursday's exhibit premiere.
The grant has also allowed the Arts Council to sponsor midweek blues and jam sessions each Wednesday at The Flying Shamrock beginning at 7 p.m. Those sessions will continue through December while the exhibits at the Arts Council will run until Nov. 10.
Arts Council Director Sarah Merritt said the change in scheduling for Jazz on George -- it has historically been held in April -- will benefit the event greatly since the weather is generally drier and milder in October. She hopes the event will continue to be scheduled for the final weekend in October in years to come.
Plus, the season and the sound seem complementary, she said.
"There's just something about jazz and fall," Mrs. Merritt said. "They go together."
For more information about the Arts Council and its events, call 736-3300.