MISSISSIPPI JAZZ & HERITAGE FESTIVAL
CONTINUES IN GREENVILLE
Delta Democrat Times Newspaper
August 31, 2006
Bill Johnson, Photographer
, Greenville, MS
Dr. Ron Myers samples Seafood Gumbo
made by Robert "Sign Man" Blackmon
prior to last year's Jazz & Heritage Festival with Johnny Harris holding the
bowl. Blackmon's gumbo will be served again this year, along with cusine from
Antwone's Cafe where this year's festival will be held on Saturday.
(Greenville, MS) – The 11th Annual Mississippi Jazz & Heritage Festival, celebrating Mississippi's great jazz legacy, will take place in Greenville, Mississippi on Labor Day weekend at Antwone's Cafe. Accomplished Yazoo City, Mississippi native, bassist Chuck Lawson and Jackson, Mississippi native, percussionist Wilton Knott, will be special featured artists. The festival will include jazz workshops with area youth and a lecture series on Mississippi’s great jazz legacy.
"We are bringing the festival to Greenville for the third time,” states Rev. Ronald V. Myers, Sr., M.D., Artistic Director of the Mississippi Jazz and Heritage Festival and accomplished Belzoni resident jazz pianist and trumpeter who performs regularly in Greenville at Antwone's Cafe. Myers was a featured guest jazz artist at the recent Miles Davis 80th Birthday Concert in East St. Louis. “The Mississippi Delta has a rich jazz legacy that includes Shelby native jazz composer Gerald Wilson and Greenwood native jazz pianist Mulgrew Miller. Greenville’s own accomplished jazz artists, saxophonists Aaron Smith and Leonard McIntosh, bassist Derrick Brown, percussionist and jazz vocalist Rod Shannon, percussionist Greg Rasberry, guitarist Billy Smiley, drummers Hal Holbrook, & Joshua Hall will be performing at the festival, along with percussionist Joe Johnson from Mound Bayou.”
The festival is dedicated to the late Woodville, Mississippi native and jazz legend Lester “Prez” Young. “Lester Young is the father of the modern jazz saxophone and was born August 27, 1909 and died in 1959, after an historic career as one of the most influential jazz musicians of all time,” states Dr. Myers. “Billy Holiday gave him the title “Prez”, short for President of the tenor saxophone.”
Dr. Myers will be performing original compositions from his critically acclaimed jazz CD, “Doctor’s Orders”. The CD includes popular original Mississippi Delta jazz compositions like "Song For Tchula", "Message From the Country" and "Blues For Tchula". Jazz bassist extraordinaire, Dr. London Branch, retired professor of music and Director of the Jackson State University Orchestra and Meridian, Mississippi native, prolific jazz drummer Alvin Fielder, featured in Down Beat and Jazz Times Magazines, will also be performing.
Greenville's own "Sign Man" Robert Blackmon's original sea food gumbo and cuisine from Antwone's Cafe will bring together the unique sounds of Mississippi jazz with great food! There will be both elementary and high school jazz workshops directed by Dr. Ron Myers.
The festival will take place on Labor Day Weekend, Saturday, September 2, 2006, at Antwone's Cafe, 120 Poplar Street, Greenville, Mississippi, beginning at 7:00pm. Admission is free and donations are appreciated. For more information contact Dr. Myers at 662-247-3364,
e-mail: MyersFound@aol.com; web sites: www.JazzMississippi.com, www.ChristianJazz.net or www.Juneteenth.us.
The Mississippi Jazz & Heritage Festival is a cooperative effort sponsored by:
The Myers Foundation The Black Arts Music Society
The Smith Robertson Museum & Cultural Center