My Magic Eight-Ball says that "All Signs Point to Yes," that Huntington is ready for some live big band getting thrown down in the heart of our city.
It was a most appreciative - and rightfully so - standing room only crowd that packed into Black Sheep Stage at Pullman Square last Monday as the 17-member Jewel City Jazz Orchestra kicked off its new monthly series at Black Sheep.
"Huntington, West Virginia, on a Monday night for jazz!" exclaimed one of the JCJO organizers and trumpet player Jeff Wolfe emphatically as he overlooked the truly packed house before the band broke into a steady and sweet flowing stream of jazz gems such as "Tiptoe," (Thad Jones/Mel Lewis), "Dancing Nightly," by Maynard Ferguson and "Katy-Do," from Louie Bellson's "Kansas City Suite."
Truly a musical treat, the event drew out such area musicians as Jarren Jackson (of Heavy Hitters) and Rod Elkins, an MU jazz grad who tours nationally and internationally with Tyler Childers, to stop into savor the sounds. And everyone left with a joy rarely experienced on a Monday.
Their other 2019 planned dates at Black Sheep Stage are: March 11, April 8, May 13, Sept. 9, Oct. 14 and Nov. 11 with the orchestra off in the summer. There is no cover but donations will be accepted.
You can also catch JCJO in action next Friday, Feb. 22, as part of the 50th year for the Marshall Jazz Festival at Smith Recital Hall. Friday will be the campus premiere performance of the group.
The MU Jazz Ensemble I, featuring renowned trumpeter Rob Parton, will perform at 5 p.m. followed by the MU Jazz Combo I and the JCJO.
The festival will continue on Saturday, Feb. 23, with more school band performances and clinics in the morning and afternoon. Saturday's highlights include performances by the Thundering Herd All-Star Big Band, and featured guests the Columbus Jazz Orchestra, under the direction of Parton.
The evening performances are free and open to the public.
3rd Avenue takes a stroll to New York
I had a story in earlier this week about the unique Marshall Artists Series presentation at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at the Keith-Albee Performing Arts Center with the 1961 classic romantic comedy "Breakfast at Tiffany's" rolling on the Keith's big screen accompanied by a 60-piece live orchestra under the direction of Kimo Furumoto.
One of the cool things is the orchestra will be performing live to Audrey Hepburn's original vocals but she will be far from singing alone during the evening as Marshall's own contemporary a cappella ensemble, 3rd Avenue will also be featured.
Under the direction of Briana Nannen with rehearsal accompanist, Jacob Smith, that group is made up of nine students (Cassidy Craddock, Bryce Dale, Hanna Davis, Mary Doherty, Evan Gissel, Cameran Macklin, Cayce Murphy, Jason Morgan, Jensen Tucker) and the remaining 10 members (Cierra Doss, Zac Doss, Caley Epling, Emily Epling, Tyler Holbrook, Kristin Johnson, Daniel Parlock, Jacob Smith, Sidney Wolfe, Cadence Weaver) are MU choir students past and present.
Nannen said they're excited to be performing on this unique night with the symphony. For fans of vocal groups, note that their spring concerts for University Chorus is May 3, and 3rd Avenue is May 4 when, yes, of course, they will be doing a "Star Wars" medley since it is May 4 (May the Fourth Be With You).
For folks interested in Saturday night's Valentine's weekend film and concert, tickets are $60, $76 and $87 at Marshall Artists Series Box Office at 304-696-6656 or order tickets online at Ticketmaster.com. You may also visit the box office in the Joan C. Edwards Playhouse on the Marshall University campus from noon to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
They shall be released
It's always cool to be some of the first fans to hear a new album live, and you can do that next week.
Congrats to Papa Roach, who will be performing with Shinedown on their Attention! Attention! Tour that rumbles into Huntington's Big Sandy Superstore Arena on Sunday, Feb. 24, in support of their new album, "Who Do You Trust?" (Eleven Seven Music).
The band's 10th studio album, "Who Do You Trust?" was released Jan. 18 and has already reached No. 1 on the iTunes Rock Albums chart.
Papa Roach - Jacoby Shaddix (vocals), Jerry Horton (guitar), Tobin Esperance (bass) and Tony Palermo (drums) - have sold 20 million records worldwide, garnered over 2 billion in streaming to date, and charted over 14 Top 5 hit singles and six No. 1 hit singles on three different radio formats (Active Rock, Alternative and Top 40), showcasing the band's ability to consistently write hit songs.
Only a few tickets ($43 to $78.50) remain for the concert which kicks off at 7 p.m. with openers Asking Alexandria. Be sure to get there early, as this will be a sell-out crowd. Doors will open at 6 p.m. If you have any questions please call the Box Office at 304-696-5990.
Spring festival news
Here in the hazy, rainy gray of winter, it's easy to be getting super excited for the spring and summer music festival season. I'll have a full story wrangling all of our great regional fests here in a few weeks but for now, here's a few nugs of news that happened this week.
First off, the massive Forecastle Fest at Louisville, Ky.'s Waterfront Park, July 12-14 announced its lineup with The Killers, The Avett Brothers, Grammy Award-winning Anderson. Paak & the Free Nationals, and so many more including area native and his locally-based band of honky tonk heroes, Tyler Childers and The Foodstamps.
Tickets for Forecastle went on sale Wednesday. Explore the lineup and ticket options here: http://fal.cn/iQkR
In some great news for West Virginia, All Good Productions is back creating some musical magic in WV. They announced Tuesday, they are teaming up with Snowshoe Mountain for the first 4848 Festival taking place July 11 - 13 atop Snowshoe Mountain in Snowshoe, WV (at 4848' above sea level). The three-day fest will have two nights of the red-hot Greensky Bluegrass (who just sold out Mountain Stage), as well as Umphrey's McGee, The Infamous Stringdusters, Lettuce, Railroad Earth, The Marcus King Band, Billy Strings and many more.
There will be 30 hours of music and Snowshoe Mountain's 'Fun Pass' is included with each ticket, presenting new options for summer music festival experiences: scenic lift rides, Split Rock pools, zipline, climbing wall, along with Shavers Lake activities including swimming, paddle boats, canoes, kayaks, as well as hiking trails, beach, and lakeside hammocks.
Tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 19 via www.4848Festival.com.
Before 4848 Festival packages go on sale next week, the event is giving away a general admission package including full-weekend festival tickets and an entire one-bedroom that sleeps four; to one lucky winner and three of their friends. Details on the contest, with the festival and room package valued at over $1200, are available at http://bit.ly/4848FestivalContest.
Locally, the Fly-In Festival released its 17-band lineup last Saturday during a Bing Brothers with Jake Krack show at the Fly In Cafe, 6090 Kyle Lane, Huntington, at the Robert C. Newlon Airpark.
In addition to the host Bing Brothers, some of the other marquee bands at Fly In Fest (Aug. 23-24) will be The Grascals along with Don Rigsby, Kenny and Amanda Smith. Saturday night's headliners include The Bings as well as Danny Paisley and The Southern Grass, rockers Ultra Sound (on a late night set) and Robin Kessinger and friends.
That fest takes place in the spacious fields and campgrounds at the Airpark. That festival will also be hosting the Robin Kessinger WV State Flatpick Guitar Contest and Workshops on Saturday, Aug. 24.
Go online at https://www.facebook.com/events/277004292983177/
Dave Lavender writes about music for The Herald-Dispatch. Contact him at email@example.com or follow him on Facebook and Twitter @DaveLavenderHD.