09/30/13 — Jazz month gets under way tonight at WCC

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Jazz month gets under way tonight at WCC

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on September 30, 2013 1:46 PM

The Foundation of Wayne Community College, Downtown Goldsboro Development Corp. and the Arts Council of Wayne County will be serving up a hefty portion of "Jazz Gumbo" over the coming weeks.

"It's going to be a fun month," said Emily Byrd, marketing and administrative specialist with the Foundation. "It's not like a one-time deal."

The array of events will be spread throughout October, reflecting the partnership between the college and downtown entities.

"What we're trying to do with the Foundation is music appreciation," said Jack Kannan, executive director of the Foundation. "We'll come in and do the educating on jazz, and it feeds right into what we're doing with the Paramount Theater with our January film festival, which will be moving downtown."

The third annual Praxis Film Festival, featuring a selection of movies and short films from students and independent filmmakers, will be divided up with a portion to remain on the WCC campus and another segment to be held at the Paramount, Kannan said.

In the meantime, the free month of "Jazz Gumbo" events will kick off tonight with Dr. Stephen Anderson, a composer, pianist and professor in the UNC music department, at 7 p.m. in Moffatt Auditorium at WCC. He will discuss how to listen to jazz and appreciate the variety of styles that fall into that category.

Next week, Anderson and his trio will return to the community and perform and "talk jazz" during a free concert. That will be held in Moffatt Auditorium on Monday, Oct. 7, at 7 p.m.

Jazz saxophonist Willie Dupree will perform at First Friday on Oct. 4 at the Arts Council from 5-8 p.m.

An open mic night, also at the Arts Council, will be held on Thursday, Oct. 10, from 7-9 p.m.

Bill Myers and the Monitors will present "Talkin' and Playin' Armstrong, Ellington and Parker" on Oct. 14 at 7 p.m. in Moffatt Auditorium. Myers, from Wilson, has been part of the musical ensemble for more than 50 years, presenting concerts and being back-up for such artists as Otis Redding and Major Lance and as an opening act for Ray Charles and Roberta Flack, who reportedly once served as lead singer for the group.

Larry Reni Thomas, a 30-year veteran writer/radio announcer based in Chapel Hill, will present a program on the jazz connection in North Carolina on Oct. 17 at 7 p.m. at the Arts Council.

"Forging Friendships," a musician meet and greet, is planned for Saturday, Oct. 19, at the Arts Council from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. Area musicians are also invited to participate.

An open mic night of spoken word and music will take place at the Arts Council from 7-9 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 24.

The Oct. 26 "Jazz on George" event downtown will provide an opportunity for families to experience the music and an afternoon of food, art, pumpkin carvings and other activities. It will be held on the 100 block of North George Street. Featured performers include the Donald Thompson Band, FreeFlow and Nicholas Cole. Attendees are invited to bring blankets and lawn chairs.

For more information on the events, contact Downtown Goldsboro Development Corporation at 919-735-4959 or www.dgdc.org; WCC Foundation at 919-739-7007 or www.waynecc.edu, or the Arts Council at 919-736-3300 or www.artsinwayne.org.