BLUES, JAZZ, ARTS AND FOOD WELCOMED BY CROWD

By Logan Mosby
loganmosby@ddtonline.com

Delta Democrat Times Newspaper
Greenville, Mississippi
662-335-1155

April 23, 2006

Crosstie
Logan Mosby, Photographer, Greenville, MS
Ron Myers (left) and the Mississippi Jazz Connection perform outside the Bolivar County
Courthouse in Cleveland Saturday during the annual Crosstie Arts and Jazz Festival.


(CLEVELAND, MS) — With blue skies, cool temperatures, jazz rifts and the smell of church-baked goodies floating on the breeze, the courtyard of the Bolivar County Courthouse was the place to be Saturday.

A good time was indeed had by all who attended the 37th annual Crosstie Arts and Jazz Festival in Cleveland.

The festival, which honors artists and musicians throughout the Delta, is one of the premier artistic gala events in the Delta. It draws exhibitors and crowds from miles around.

Elizabeth Barenis, an artist from Greenville, said this was her first year to exhibit her artwork at the festival.

“This is my first time, and it's been fun,” Barenis said. “I'm considering doing it again next year.”

A variety of artwork was on display on the courthouse lawn, including paintings, photography, woodwork, pottery, handmade clothing, stained glass, crafts and jewelry.

“I heard about this festival from word of mouth,” said Herbert Johnson, a wood craftsman from Clinton. “I have really enjoyed being here this year, which is my first. I will most certainly return next year.”

Yerger Andre, who owns a studio in Oxford dedicated to crystalline glazed pottery, said this is his first year back since 1988, and he is glad came to the event.

“My wife and I have traveled quite a bit and have recently relocated to Mississippi,” Andre said. “We remembered about this festival and knew we had to come.”

Local groups and not-so-local groups treated the audience to jazz and blues. MDCC's Delta Dancers; a gospel group, the Steadman Brothers; an old-school R&B group, Jack and the Pearl Street Jumpers; and Ron Myers and Mississippi Jazz Connection were just a few to take the stage.

“I think Crosstie is a really good thing for Cleveland,” said Melissa Law-Kovarchik, of Cleveland. “It really brings the community together, and everyone has a good time.”

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