Jazz revue scores sponsors

Published 12:09 am Friday, December 9, 2011

The first 50 children to attend a “master class” workshop at 2 p.m. Saturday will be given free tickets to an East Coast Jazz Revue concert scheduled for 8 p.m. that same night.

Presented by the nonprofit ECJR, the workshop and the concert will be held at the Turnage Theater, 150 W. Main St., Washington.

Jazz saxophonist and flutist Vincent Herring, who will perform on the night as a member of a quartet led by pianist-composer Cedar Walton, will conduct the workshop.

The master class will consist of a demonstration and a question-and-answer session. The class is open to any student from the sixth grade and up. Participants are encouraged to bring musical instruments of any kind.

The class is free and open to the public.

Tickets to the concert cost $25 each throughout the theater and $20 apiece for balcony sides.

But the 50 children who gain free admission will do so thanks to donations from a number of local jazz patrons, explained Larry Turner, founder and president of ECJR.

These 50 ticketholders also will receive passes to a pizza party at La Bella Pizzeria, 126 W. Main St.

“The main thing is we want people to feel good when they share these experiences this weekend and carry that feeling into the new year,” Turner said of the workshop and other events planned around the concert.

The children’s tickets and pizza party are funded by individuals and a corporate donation.

The individual sponsors are Herman Gaskins, the Rev. David Moore and his wife Melinda Moore, Betty Randolph and Joe Blalock and his wife Alexandra Bloch.

The corporate sponsor is Gregory Poole Equipment Co. of Washington.

Blalock said he doesn’t see many young people at the cultural events he attends, adding he hopes the tickets will lead to eye-opening, artistic experiences for some of the youthful attendees.

Blalock attended two ECJR concerts at the Turnage earlier this year.

“I felt like those other two jazz shows were really phenomenally good, and I don’t see a lot of young people there, and I think that’s phenomenally important,” he said.

Robin Skillen, industrial service manager at Gregory Poole, said the company has contributed to ECJR in the past.

“When East Coast Jazz Revue came in May we made a contribution and we’re going to make one again for this performance because it’s a great opportunity for the children,” Skillen said. “Jazz is kind of universal. You can tap your foot to it.”

A post on the Turnage website notes Walton has been “a leading post bop jazz and funk jazz artist of more than 50 years, has played and/or recorded with Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers, Lou Donaldson, Kenny Dorham, Benny Golson, John Coltrane as well as other big names in Jazz.”

For more information, call the Turnage box office at 252-975-1191 or visit www.turnagetheater.com.