Music lovers enjoy the second annual Jazz on the Levee fest

Levee Stage
Jazz on the Levee was an excellent Saturday choice
for those looking for downtown entertainment in Helena.


The Daily World
Helena, Arkansas


By Michele Page
July 28, 2008



(Helena, AR) - The 2008 installment of Jazz on the Levee was a fitting tribute to Helena native and legendary Jazz musician, Red Holloway, complete with mild Delta weather and dozens of dragonflies buzzing to the cool tunes of the smooth Jazz stylings. Attendance was better than last year and received high compliments from the crowd.

“The media is constantly bombarding us (the general public) with negative events and occurrences in the Delta region. I wanted to support something positive taking place in the Delta, such as the Jazz Festival, which is a free festival sponsored by concerned citizens of the community. We will definitely make it an annual pilgrimage from Little Rock to Helena-West Helena to attend the event,” said Anna Williams of Little Rock.

“We love Jazz so we wanted to come to hear real Jazz from our own Delta,” said Mylas Jeffers of Blytheville, a true Jazz fan.

Plans for next year’s event are already underway and Dr. Mary Olson, one of the coordinators of the event, hopes for some more of the same mild weather and more jazz fans attending.

“We are already planning the third annual Jazz on the Levee and Arts Festival for 2009 with Artistic Director Dr. Ronald Myers,” said Olson. “Dr. Myers is already in contact with additional bands for next year.

“We appreciated Grounds of Habitat for Humanity of Phillips County for coordinating The Arts Tent, which was new this year. Other support came from The Highlander Center, the City of Helena-West Helena Advertising & Promotions Commission, the Isle of Capri Casino and Resort, Sonny Boy Blues Society, and individual citizens,” Olson added.

Excellent performances by Saxophonist Phillip Stackhouse and Live Soul band members, K. L. Honeycott Sr., bass, Brad Bishop, guitar, Ricco Smith, drums and keyboarder Jonathan Jones were a real crowd pleasers along with performances by The Delta Jazz Percussion Ensemble with Wilton Knott, congas and percussion Rufus Mapp, congas and percussion Joe Johnson, congas and percussion, Rod Shannon, vocals and percussion, Aaron Smith, alto sax, Billy Smiley, guitar, Roy Schilling, guitar, Derrick Brown, bass and Hal Holbrook, drums.

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