April is National Jazz Month, an important month to a state whose citizens have been so integral in making jazz what it is today. North Carolinians continue the jazz tradition by using the old forms to invent new music. Some of the most famous jazz musicians to ever play have their roots in North Carolina--legends such as John Coltrane and Thelonious Monk whose beginnings helped them revolutionize music.
Explore North Carolina's musical roots and take the opportunity this April to listen to the cultural heritage of jazz. Below are some events to help jazz up your month. Look at what's going on in your area through www.ncarts.org/events.
N.C. Central University/African American Jazz Caucus Jazz Research Institute (NAJRI) HBCU Jazz Conference/Festival
North Carolina Central University, Durham
This four day conference and festival is primarily intended for educators but includes some nightly jazz concerts and jam sessions that are fun for general public. Conference topics include the role of jazz in the community, unique issues affecting jazz education programs at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU), vocal and instrumental clinics, master classes and continuing education credit workshops. The featured artists will be Terence Blanchard and Dee Dee Bridgewater.
(919) 530-6295, firstname.lastname@example.org
Duke Jazz Ensemble
April 11, 2008, 8 p.m.
Baldwin Auditorium at Duke University, Durham
Under the direction of John Brown, the Duke Jazz Ensemble performs at Balwin Auditorium with a special guest, to be announced soon. The Duke Jazz Ensemble is comprised of some twenty musicians presenting a full schedule of concerts each year, in which they are joined by guest artists who have included jazz greats Louie Bellson, Lionel Hampton, Dizzy Gillespie, Ellis Marsalis, Roy Hargrove, T.S. Monk, and Branford Marsalis.
(919) 684-4444, www.tickets.duke.edu
4th Annual JAZZ & BLUES Fest
New Bern Riverfront Convention Center, New Bern
This year's fest will consist of two nights of entertainment. Enjoy Blues Night on Friday with an opening performance by Teresa James featuring Melvin Taylor. Saturday is Jazz Night with an opening performance by John Brown, Jr. featuring Nnenna Freelon.
(252) 633-1861, www.newbernjazzandbluesfest.com
Cool Jazz Music Festival
New Hope Park, Hillsborough
A festival featuring jazz where musicians such as Nnenna Freelon, The John Brown Quintet, The Michael Bennett Group, Marcus Mitchell and Company, Equinox, Cedar Ridge High, Orange High, A.L. Stanback Middle School, Stanford Middle School and others perform throughout the day at New Hope Park (Blackwood Farms).
(919) 245-2660, Jhester@co.orange.nc.us, www.co.orange.nc.us/RecParks/special_events.asp
Jazz on George
100 Block of S. George Street, Downtown Goldsboro
Featuring live jazz performances by Shawnette Beatty, Starlight Dance Band, and Julia Dixon, antique car show, food, fun, and more.
(919) 735-4959, email@example.com, www.dgdc.org/
The UNCA Jazz Festival & Jazz Choir
Lipinsky Auditorium at UNC-Ashville, Asheville
Fifth Annual Invitational Jazz Festival featuring high school jazz ensembles performing for clinicians throughout the day. The UNCA Jazz Lab Band will perform at 5 pm with this year's guest artist.
The Billy Taylor Jazz Festival
Locations at and near East Carolina University, Greenville
This annual festival offers three public concerts, a free jam session, critiquing sessions for eight or more high school and middle school jazz bands, and opportunities for jazz friends to mingle and celebrate.