Country roads lead to some decidedly urban entertainment this December and January, according to the West Virginia Jazz Society, the Weston-based nonprofit organization with a mission to expand the market for live jazz music in the Mountain State.
Two weekendlong jazz music events featuring performance and education with free and ticketed shows have been organized and are being promoted by the WVJS, in partnership with West Virginia Wesleyan College, Stonewall Resort and the Bridgeport Conference Center.
Celebration Jazz Weekend - "a celebration of jazz traditions" - is scheduled in the Weston/Buckhannon area on Dec. 3-4, while Winter Jazz Weekend at Charles Pointe, featuring "soul jazz," will be based in Bridgeport and Clarksburg on Jan. 21-22. Additionally, jazz master classes and performance workshops are also scheduled at Wesleyan, in Weston, at the Bridgeport Conference Center, in Clarksburg, and at Stonewall Resort through arrangements with the WVJS Education Initiative.
Evening events will require tickets or reservations. Daytime jazz master classes and performance workshops are free of charge and open to the public. Those who join the West Virginia Jazz Society by sending their name, address and phone number via e-mail to WVJazzSociety@aol.com can obtain a discount code worth $10 off the ticket price of the Stonewall Resort show and free tickets to the Wesleyan performances.
For information on the weekendlong promotions or the educational events, contact the West Virginia Jazz Society by e-mailing WVJazzSociety@aol.com or by calling 304-269-3683. For information on events at Wesleyan, call 304-473-8556.
For information on events at Stonewall Resort, call 304-269-7400 or visit www.stonewallresort.com. For information on events at Bridgeport Conference Center, call 304-848-3000 or visit www.bridgeportconference.com.
Celebration Jazz Weekend begins Dec. 3 in Weston and Buckhannon, as jazz workshops are being offered to students and the public. That evening, there will be a big band-style performance in West Virginia Wesleyan's Virginia Thomas Law Center for the Performing Arts. The weekend concludes Saturday night at Stonewall Resort following a nightclub-style performance in the Stonewall Ballroom.
Two of jazz music's best-known players will perform as special guests during the Celebration Jazz Weekend as Chuck Redd, an internationally acclaimed vibraphonist, and Roger Humphries, the Pittsburg-based legend on drums, will play Dec. 3 with the Wesleyan Jazz ensembles. Under the direction of James Moore, the Wesleyan student groups will present Duke Ellington's timeless masterpiece, the jazz Nutcracker. Redd and Humphries will also join Moore and Adam Loudin on trumpets, and Dwayne Dolphin on bass for an opening set sponsored by the WVJS.
The next evening, Redd and Humphries will join bassist and vocalist, Nicki Parrott, and Robert Redd on piano, to form the Chuck Redd Quartet for the Saturday night show in the Stonewall Ballroom at the Stonewall Resort.
The Wesleyan Jazz Quartet will open the Dec. 4 engagement.
Parrott appeared regularly with Les Paul at the Iridium Jazz Club in New York City as a chanteuse who interprets jazz standards like "Moon River" and "Come Rain Or Come Shine." A Washington, D.C., native, Robert Redd is a featured artist at the Augusta Music Festival in Elkins as well as a veteran pianist with many notable jazz groups.
The Chuck Redd Quartet will perform "A Tribute to Jazz Standards" while the audience enjoys a gourmet dinner featuring lobster and beef tenderloin, blackened salmon and stuffed pork chops served in an old-fashioned urban nightclub environment.