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Walk This Way

Aug
25
7:00 pm19:00

Thursday Music: The Heart of Carolina Jazz Orchestra

Way back when….

The Heart of Carolina Jazz Orchestra originated as the “Community Jazz Ensemble” in 1990 when Gregg Gelb was a Visiting Artist at Central Carolina Community College. His love of jazz music and the opportunity to share it with others was an exciting venture of the Lee County Parks & Recreation Department. The group began June 11, 1990 and met weekly at the Lee county Arts & Community Center in Sanford, NC. The orchestra’s first public concert was held there October 11, 1990. The merry band of original players included (on saxophone) Sister Blaise Semple, Carolyn Poplin, Bob Bennett, Marty Foster, Bill Fritz, Gregg Gelb, and (on trumpet) Don Pike, Paul Irvine, Sam Tinsley, Tim Mercer, and (on trombone) Frank Burgoyne, Olin Sluss, Don Wazenegger, Jerry Johnson, and (in the rhythm section) Bill Falconer on Piano, Reinette Seaman on bass, John Brookes on Drums, Kenneth Graham on congas, and Marian Carlsen on guitar. Don Nedza was the vocalist.

In September 1994, the Jazz Society was granted tax-exempt status 501(c)(3).

Where we are now….

Since 1990, the Orchestra has played for thousands of jazz enthusiasts around North Carolina at schools, artscenters, festivals, dances, and more. More than 35 guest artists have performed at the Jazz Society’s Temple Theatre series in Sanford. In 2002, the orchestra’s book has over 240 tunes (and growing). The book includes a carefully considered repertoire of pieces that reflect a wide range of Big Band Jazz styles and arrangements. Included are classics such as Two O’clock Jump, Stompin’ at the Savoy, and Frenesi, as well as many ballads such as The Nearness of You, Imagination, and September Song. That’s a far cry from the 10 or so tunes in the book at our first Fearrington Fall Fling where we had to play pieces twice and some thrice to fill the time!

Weekly rehearsals have been held all over the Triangle area, including the Jordan Hall Artscenter and Glen Air retirement community in Cary, the Senior Center in Pittsboro, Grace’s Little Italy Restaurant in Sanford, and the First Presbyterian Church in Sanford. We are grateful to all of them for the opportunity to rehearse in their facilties. We are also grateful for our volunteer players and our Corporate Sponsors, Friends, Backers, Benefactors, and Patrons for their continued support. The Society also currently receives grant support from the Lee County Arts Council, the Herman Goldman Foundation in New York City, and is a continuing recipient of funding from the North Carolina Arts Council.

If you wish to hear the orchestra or have them play for your function, please email our webmaster or refer to our performance and rehearsal schedules. If you wish to support our mission, please join the society today.

Aug
28
6:00 pm18:00

Sunday Music: Swift Creek

Swift Creek’s name pays tribute to the origins of this Americana/Bluegrass band, formed six years ago in Central NC near meandering Swift Creek. Their highly original songs feature strong traditional and progressive bluegrass influences, a touch of country and a healthy dose of folk.  Driving guitar and bass support the band’s signature three-part harmony singing, punctuated with impressive mandolin, fiddle and banjo solos. 

The lineup is Kevin Brown, whose strong tenor leads, rhythm guitar and songwriting frame the band’s sound; Casey Elder, expertly playing the mandolin and dobro; award-winning fiddler Stephen Fraleigh, also playing the banjo; bassist Dennis Hoyle setting the beat; and vocalist Ann Searcy, adding bluesy leads and spot-on harmony singing.
 
Swift Creek’s debut CD “Winner Winner Chicken Dinner” was produced at The Rubber Room in Chapel Hill, NC and released in August 2012. Tracks from the CD have been featured on radio, including WQDR’s “Pinecone Bluegrass” show and WUNC’s “Back Porch Music.”   

“Magnolia,” the band’s sophomore album was released on April 8, 2016. Brown’s songwriting is prominently featured on the new tracks which have a unique Southern vibe. 

Swift Creek reached the 100-show milestone recently, with performances at many well-known area venues. 

Sep
4
6:00 pm18:00

Sunday Music: Better Off Dead

A love of the music,philosophy and spirit of the Grateful Dead was the basis of the formation of the band in 2008. We have had changes in the line up ever since we began but believe our current roster is the best since we started.

Whitney Pearsall, our lead vocalist, is one of the original members of the band. Music has been a huge part of her life. She was an entertainer at a very early age. She has been the featured vocalist in bands in Maryland and North Carolina.

Rich Saltz, one of our guitar players, is also one of the original members of the band. He draws on his love of the music of the Grateful Dead, having seen over 150 shows. Jerry Garcia's influence is easily evidenced in his playing style.

Jonas McAlarney is a seasoned player who has appeared in many bands in North Carolina. He was formerly a member of They're Only Mostly Dead. His talent adds to the intricate mix and sound that the band produces.

Brant Kay plays keyboards and shares the lead vocal responsibilities. He is also an accomplished guitar player. He has played in bands in Virginia, California, New Mexico, and North Carolina. He grew up with the music of the Grateful Dead in his family and it continues to be a vital part of his being.

Lars Hartmann is in his second tour with the band. He has been involved in many projects in the Triangle. He brings a sense of spirit and reckless abandon to the mix. To say it simply, he is a MONSTER behind the kit.

Chris O'Hara is on his second tour with the band. The are no holds barred when he is playing. He has been a member of a number of bands in North Carolina.

The bands goal is not to present note by note recreations of what the Grateful Dead produced but to pay homage to the music that has affected us deeply.

Sep
11
6:00 pm18:00

Sunday Music: Jefferson Hart & The Ghosts of the Old North State

The new CD "Corolla Ponies In The Snow" is now available for download at iTunes, Amazon & CD Baby. http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/jeffersonhart CDs available at upcoming shows & from selected Durham. Chapel Hill and Raleigh NC record stores. CD release party is June 27 at Cat's Cradle Back Room at 8pm. 3 of Jeff's earlier cds are finally on iTunes and Amazon, ie. 2011's "Ghosts of the Old North State", 1990's "The Singles 1961 - 1990" and 1995's "Glances From A Nervous Groom".

“ His prize possession is a guitar signed by over a dozen of his heroes including Paul Westerberg, John Hiatt, Robert Earl Keen, and Matthew Sweet - with a combination of that foursome providing a decent description of Hart's sound ... and from a Byrds-eye view, the pre-Clarence White Byrds. ” - Rick Cornell - No Depression

“I challenge anyone to find a better in-the-wee-hours song than the exceptional 'From Now On' with such lines as "Colder than the backside of your pillowcase". Lesser artists have made careers of such songs. ” - Record Exchange Monitor

Sep
18
6:00 pm18:00

Food Truck Rodeo - Music by The Heart of Carolina Jazz Orchestra

Way back when….

The Heart of Carolina Jazz Orchestra originated as the “Community Jazz Ensemble” in 1990 when Gregg Gelb was a Visiting Artist at Central Carolina Community College. His love of jazz music and the opportunity to share it with others was an exciting venture of the Lee County Parks & Recreation Department. The group began June 11, 1990 and met weekly at the Lee county Arts & Community Center in Sanford, NC. The orchestra’s first public concert was held there October 11, 1990. The merry band of original players included (on saxophone) Sister Blaise Semple, Carolyn Poplin, Bob Bennett, Marty Foster, Bill Fritz, Gregg Gelb, and (on trumpet) Don Pike, Paul Irvine, Sam Tinsley, Tim Mercer, and (on trombone) Frank Burgoyne, Olin Sluss, Don Wazenegger, Jerry Johnson, and (in the rhythm section) Bill Falconer on Piano, Reinette Seaman on bass, John Brookes on Drums, Kenneth Graham on congas, and Marian Carlsen on guitar. Don Nedza was the vocalist.

In September 1994, the Jazz Society was granted tax-exempt status 501(c)(3).

Where we are now….

Since 1990, the Orchestra has played for thousands of jazz enthusiasts around North Carolina at schools, artscenters, festivals, dances, and more. More than 35 guest artists have performed at the Jazz Society’s Temple Theatre series in Sanford. In 2002, the orchestra’s book has over 240 tunes (and growing). The book includes a carefully considered repertoire of pieces that reflect a wide range of Big Band Jazz styles and arrangements. Included are classics such as Two O’clock Jump, Stompin’ at the Savoy, and Frenesi, as well as many ballads such as The Nearness of You, Imagination, and September Song. That’s a far cry from the 10 or so tunes in the book at our first Fearrington Fall Fling where we had to play pieces twice and some thrice to fill the time!

Weekly rehearsals have been held all over the Triangle area, including the Jordan Hall Artscenter and Glen Air retirement community in Cary, the Senior Center in Pittsboro, Grace’s Little Italy Restaurant in Sanford, and the First Presbyterian Church in Sanford. We are grateful to all of them for the opportunity to rehearse in their facilties. We are also grateful for our volunteer players and our Corporate Sponsors, Friends, Backers, Benefactors, and Patrons for their continued support. The Society also currently receives grant support from the Lee County Arts Council, the Herman Goldman Foundation in New York City, and is a continuing recipient of funding from the North Carolina Arts Council.

If you wish to hear the orchestra or have them play for your function, please email our webmaster or refer to our performance and rehearsal schedules. If you wish to support our mission, please join the society today.


Aug
21
6:00 pm18:00

Sunday Music: Wyatt Easterling

Growing up in Chapel Hill, NC, Easterling released his debut album, Both Sides of the Shore, on Moonlight Records (Warner Bros.) in 1981. With his album tucked under his arm, he moved to Nashville. While looking for another record deal, he wrote for various song publishers until 1990 when he became head of A&R for Atlantic Records Nashville. 

That same year, he wrote and sang on This Time I'm Takin' My Time for Neal McCoy's album, At This Moment.   This collaboration launched more than 2 decades of gold and platinum winning releases with Easterling acting as songwriter, producer, and/or session player. Wyatt's partnership with Miles Copeland (The Police & Sting) Bugle Publishing Group and Firstars Management occupied him in the late '90s and early 2000s.

Wyatt's next step was to work on his own writing with songs like his title track for Dierks Bentley's chart-topping, million-selling album, Modern Day Drifter, followed by his own critically acclaimed album Where This River Goes released on High Horse Records on May 4, 2009.

"In Nashville, there's nothing a songwriter likes better than a co-writer with a broken heart." A quote Easterling laughingly coined. "You can really mine that for great stuff. That said, I had been going through some major life changes myself and had my own stuff to mine. In the process of writing songs I discovered, for the umpteenth time, that life is about facing change and embracing it.” With that as a backdrop, Wyatt’s 2014 release, Goodbye-Hello was launched.

“As my 2014 album began to come into focus - it dawned on me that I'd been writing songs about my own transitions - some good moves like kicking the smokes and the booze, some happy times and some sad goodbyes,… songs about people coming and going, songs about living and one or two about dying." The songs and performances on Goodbye-Hello are rich with wisdom, acceptance and optimism. "I must say it's the most personal album I've recorded to date." 

Aug
18
7:00 pm19:00

Thursday Music: John Westmoreland

A native North Carolinian with deep roots in the blues, John Westmoreland is a multidimensional musician. He studied jazz and classical composition at Berklee College of Music where he was also a recipient of the BEST scholarship. His teachers have been some of the foremost in the nation, including: Scott Sawyer of Raleigh NC, Jon Damian inventor of the Rubber Tellie and author of “The Guitarists Guide to Composing and Improvising,” and most recently he had the opportunity to study with the world renowned Malian virtuoso Djelimady Tounkara. He’s also attended a number of master classes including a workshop and performance with legendary jazz guitarist Jim Hall.


In 2011 He started collaborating with Senegalese griot Diali Cissokho who introduced him to the rich, captivating music of West Africa. It wasn’t long before they were playing together in the NC based band Diali Cissokho & Kaira Ba, and also performing together as a duo exploring the beautiful soundscapes of guitar and kora. As a solo artist he plays his own dynamic, and sensitive interpretations— interweaving jazz standards, African traditional music, Blues, Bach, the American Songbook, as well as his own original compositions.


Always looking for new and interesting directions to take his craft, he also provides improvisational accompaniment for yoga classes, and is currently exploring other ways that music can facilitate healing and personal growth.

Aug
14
6:00 pm18:00

Sunday Music: Mahalo Jazz

MahaloJazz is a flexible musical group offering not-so-straight-ahead ensemble music - jazz, bopHop! and otherwise. Our jazz, whether we're smokin' or driftin', is inspired by the likes of songsters George Gershwin and Cole Porter and innovators Charlie Parker, Miles Davis and Thelonious Monk. We can also present this music in our unique bopHop! fashion (dance-til-you-drop bebop and more). Otherwise includes music outside and in between, including R&B, reggae, pop, bossa, and our completely spontaneous conversations. We have huge fun playing it all...

Aug
11
7:00 pm19:00

Thursday Music: Lester Fricks

Lest Fricks was formed in the summer of 2010 when two of our founding members, Glen Stewart (guitar / vocals) and Tony Matthews (mando/fiddle/vocals), both wanted to be better musicians and decided that forming a band was the way to do it. The group came together surprisingly fast: Heather Henry (guitar/fiddle/banjo/harmonica/vocals), Lilianne Smith (fiddle/vocals), and Jan Pulley (bass/vocals) soon joined in. When Heather left to help form a new group called Nash St. Ramblers with Sandra Herring, Sandra stepped in to fill the void when she’s not playing with Up Cane Creek, delighting us with her “Lego” banjo licks and vocals. Tony moved on to multiple pastures, namely Three Jack Jenny, the Blue Tailed Skinks and more, so Jim Prichard saved our necks by diving in with his vocals (lead and harmony) and his brilliant mando stylings

Aug
7
6:00 pm18:00

Sunday Music: David Dyer and the Crooked Smile Band

David Dyer & The Crooked Smile Band are a superbly talented group of veteran musicians from several of North Carolina’s finest bands. The Crooked Smile Band has been crafting their own brand of roots-inspired alt Country since 1999 and have released 3 independent albums to date. The boys are now out supporting their latest effort, “Taproot”, a gospel-inspired collection of original tunes.

Jul
31
6:00 pm18:00

Sunday Music: Idlewild South

IDLEWILD SOUTH, The Allman Brothers Band Tribute, was co-founded by keyboardist and vocalist Don Eason, a veteran musician whose initial influence of The Allman Brothers Band's live performance goes back to his first concert experience of the band on Easter Weekend of 1970, at The Winter's End Concert in Bithlo, Florida.


A duo of drummers, (including co-founder) Robert Kintner, and John Flowers, provides the foundation with bassist Tim Smith rounding out the rhythm section. Slide Guitarist Dave George and Lead Guitarist/ Vocalist Pete Waggoner bring forth the dual guitar harmonies and searing guitar leads Duane Allman and Dickie Betts pioneered in the late
1960's.

Jul
28
7:00 pm19:00

Thursday Music: Eric Meyer

I have always been moved to create. This led me to immerse myself in numerous endeavors including photography, theater, computer programming, and music. I played guitar in high school but took what ended up being a 20-year hiatus. In 2008, inspired by listening to local musicians, I decided that I wanted to play music again. I studied guitar with Jon Shain and Kevin Van Sant, but my journey into bass began almost by accident. I was playing guitar at a blues jam in 2011, and the bass player had to leave early. I said, “I know nothing about playing bass, but I will give it a try.” Playing bass felt very intuitive to me. In 2012, I bought an upright bass and began lessons with Robbie Link.

For me playing music is about collaboration - both with other musicians and with an audience. I welcome opportunities for collaboration, and enjoy playing a wide variety of genres of music.

Jul
24
6:00 pm18:00

Sunday Music: Beers and Hymns with Jesse DeConto

Pulled from article in the News & Observer


Join us on the Southern Village Green on July 24 at 6:00 pm for Beer & Hymns on the Green. We'll have a great band leading songs of natural beauty in the great outdoors! There'll be hymns like "How Great Thou Art," "In the Garden" and "All Creatures of Our God & King," along with pop hits like "Dear Prudence," "Turn, Turn, Turn" and "Somewhere Over the Rainbow." Thanks to our sponsors at Christ UMC and Carolina Brewery, the event is free, and your donations will go to support Super Cooper’s Little Red Wagon Foundation (http://supercooperswagon.org), a nonprofit serving kids and families fighting cancer. Bring a blanket or lawn chair, dinner, and/or some cash for food & drink. Carolina Brewery will be pouring on the Green, and Southern Village restaurants are happy to serve!

Jul
21
7:00 pm19:00

Thursday Music: Wes Collins

"I picked up the guitar when I was seventeen, and worked at it for ten years or so playing covers. Around my thirtieth birthday I parked the Takamine under the bed and got a straight job as a buyer for a retail music chain. I dug the guitar back out in 2000 and got back at it, but I hit my forties before writing my first song, mainly because I was scared to write bad ones."

Jul
14
7:00 pm19:00

Thursday Music: Mike Babyak

Mike Babyak began playing guitar in his early teens while growing up in the Allentown, Pa area. In the mid-70s, Mike enjoyed success with his first serious project, Gateway, a 5-piece band that covered bands such as Steely Dan and Yes.

He went on to study classical guitar at Muhlenberg College, winning several local performance competitions. He spent the next 11 years performing as a classical soloist and guest artist with small chamber and early music ensembles.

In the mid-90s, his interests turned back again to the electric guitar. Also at this time he began to study the lap steel more seriously.

Early in 2001, he founded the Triple Fret project, an improvisational blues, jazz, and world act with a rotating cast of musicians.

Mike cites his long time teacher and friend, Steve Kimock, as his most important and enduring musical influence. He also has studied with Durham jazz guitarist, Scott Sawyer. His influences are wide-ranging and include V.M. Bhatt, David Lindley, R. Prasanna, Diblo Dibala, and Ry Cooder.

Jul
10
6:00 pm18:00

Sunday Music: Rooster Logic

Rooster Logic’s music is a fun, funky and rocking mash-up of original songs and unexpected covers that transcends genres.  The Chatham County, NC based outfit mixes together the sounds of Memphis soul, garage pop, blues, folk and rock 'n' roll into a crisp, tight sound full of lush harmonies, clever lyrics and pop hooks.  The vocally rich and musically versatile sound frequently takes them to unexpected places as they follow their own brand of logic.  You might find yourself singing along, and oh yeah, you can dance to it!

Jul
4
6:30 pm18:30

4th of July Music: Decatur Street Beat

Decatur Street Beat has played foot stomping, toe tapping, New Orleans style Dixieland music since 2004. They have played for 4th of July picnics at the beach, Mardi Gras parties, birthday parties, local restaurants, a jazz festival in Virginia, a number of senior living centers in the Durham area and even some jazz funerals. The group is made up of experienced Dixieland musicians. They took their name from Decatur St. which runs through the French Quarter past Jackson Square, Cafe du Monde and Tujagues, the tuba player's favorite restaurant. They want to bring to central North Carolina what they feel is the happiest, liveliest and easiest music to listen to.

Jul
3
6:00 pm18:00

Sunday Music: DOUBLE BILL: The Nashvilifiers with Lynn Blakey and Ecki Heins

The Nashvilifiers play your favorite country classics. Songs about cheating, fighting, drinking, and a variety of felonies, all performed by three of the nicest guys you'll ever meet.

______

When talking about Lynn Blakey’s place in the music world, you have to start with her voice. Distinctive and bell-clear, sometimes plaintive and always honest, Blakey’s voice is the underpinning of her appeal and of her acclaim, both as a front-woman and as a guest vocalist. It’s an instrument that hushes crowds and makes grown men cry.

Her impassioned vocals and inspired songwriting have most recently found a home in the beloved and pop-rocking Gloryfountain, and in the harmony-driven all-girl super-group Tres Chicas. She has also added her voice to recordings by such notables as Alejandro Escovedo (A Man Under the Influence), Jeffrey Dean Foster (Million Star Hotel), Dana Kletter, The Velvet Crush, and many others.

Jun
30
6:30 pm18:30

Thursday Music: The Daddy Oh!'s

The Daddy Oh!’s is a central North Carolina based band made up of Spence Foscue on Drums, Jim Gilliam on guitar and Art Gruskin on bass. All of the members of the band sing. A lot of sound from a trio! They are great for dancing, partying or just listening.

All these guys have been playing music for a long, long time and their individual influences are varied. They include R&B, blues, jazz, swing, jump, country… They like to call it just good old American music.

Art comes from Pittsburgh, PA, Jim is from Ft. Worth, TX and Spence hails from right here in North Carolina. You can just imagine what the geographical influences alone might bring to a music group like this.

Jun
19
6:00 pm18:00

Sunday Music (DOUBLE BILL): Carolyn Mitchell and The Gary Mitchell Band

  • Southern Village Green

Carolyn Mitchell is a seasoned professional musician who has been enthralling audiences for many years with her clear, smooth vocal delivery that has been described as a mix between Shirley Horn and Nancy Wilson. Her fan base continues to increase because she is a fabulous live performer. She absolutely owns the state when sharing her exceptional vocal gift with listeners. Ms. Mitchell’s tremendous flexibility in singing style comes from also being a pianist, a formally trained musician with Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees in music, plus working many years as a voice teacher. Add to this mix her early experiences as a gospel singer and you have an artist who successfully runs the gamut from jazz to blues and gospel, with a particularly sensitive interpretation of classic jazz.

Her CD ‘Inner Smile’ is a delicious offering to the senses of sumptuous melodies and soulful grooves!


An acoustic guitarist and singer, Gary Mitchell has spent over a decade honing his craft, performing in coffee shops, restaurants, night clubs, shopping malls, weddings, company events, churches, private parties and everything in between. Gary wields a wide variety of popular and recognizable music from numerous artists and bands spanning several genres.

The Gary Mitchell Band is Gary Mitchell (Vox, acoustic guitar, percussion, keys), Annelise Huggins (electric guitar, BGV, percussion, keys), Thomas Burroughs (BGV, percussion, keys), Lee Huggins (BGV, bass).