FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (8/4/09)

Contact: Rev. Ronald V. Myers, Sr., M.D., Artistic Director
             Arkansas "Jazz on the Levee" Helena Arts Festival
             662-247-1471     662-247-3364
             e-mail: JuneteenthDOC@yahoo.com
             web sites: www.JazzArkansas.com
                            www.JuneteenthJazz.com
                            www.ChristianJazz.net


             Naomi Cottoms, Director
             Walnut Street Works
             870-338-8900
             e-mail: ncottoms@aol.com
             web site: www.JazzArkansas.com


Dick Griffin
Dick Griffin

3rd Annual Arkansas "Jazz on the Levee" Helena Arts Festival

Arkansas "Jazz on the Levee" Helena Arts Festival
Features Master Jazz Trombonist Dick Griffin

Great Arkansas Jazz Returns to the Arkansas Delta
with an Art Exhibit Featuring Dick Griffin



(Helena, AR) – The 3rd Annual Arkansas "Jazz on the Levee" Helena Arts Festival, celebrating the Arkansas Delta's great jazz legacy, will take place in Helena, Arkansas on Friday, September 4, 2009, in Downtown Cherry Street, "on the Levy", from 5:00pm - 9:00pm. Master jazz tromponist, Dick Griffin and accomplished Arkansas jazz pianist and trumpeter, Ron Myers, will be the featured artists.

"The Arkansas Delta has a rich jazz legacy," states Dr. Myers. "One of the greatest jazz saxophonist in the history of jazz, Red Holloway, was born in Helena, Arkansas and still performs throughout the world. Now that the Walnut Street Works community organization has established this wonderful event, Arkansas's rich jazz legacy will continue to be celebrated in the Arkansas Delta every year."

Dick Griffin is one of today's leading trombone players. In a career spanning over 40 years, he has performed with some of the biggest names in Jazz and Soul, as well as appearing with several symphony orchestras. A short list of the luminaries Mr. Griffin has worked with includes: Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Ella Fitzgerald, Tito Puente, Art Blakey, Charles Mingus, Dizzy Gillespie, McCoy Tyner, Marvin Gaye, Michael Jackson, Isaac Hayes, Dionne Warwick, and Lionel Hampton.

Griffin has developed a highly personalized playing style which he calls"circularphonics". His ability to combine playing chords on the trombone with circular breathing is unrivaled among Jazz trombonists. The expanded range of simultaneous sounds Griffin creates through his multiphonic technique sometimes evokes the spirit of such experimental Jazz musicians as John Coltrane, Rahsaan Roland Kirk, and Sun Ra. Never a follower, Griffin has moved beyond the course set by these pioneering giants to develop a unique style on and for an instrument which has hardly been the most widely used in modern Jazz.

Griffin is also a celebrated visual artist and will exhibit several of his world reknowmed art pieces at Walnut Street Works, 419 Cherry Street, located in downtown Helena, Arkansas.

Myers will be performing original compositions from his critically acclaimed jazz CD, "Doctor’s Orders." The CD includes several popular original jazz compositions written by Myers out of his experience of living in the delta, like "Song For Tchula", "Message From the Country" and "Blues For Tchula".

The festival will also feature the legendary "Delta Jazz Percussion Ensemble" with percussionists Wilton Knott, Joe Johnson and Roderick Shannon, along with special guest Cuban percussionist Earlton Battles Manley. Myers will be joined by jazz saxophonist Aaron Smith, guitarists Billy Smiley & Roy Schilling, bassist Derrick Brown and drummers Hal Halbrook and Noah Jelks.

Also performing will be Helena, Arkansas native jazz saxophonist Phillip Stackhouse. The Master of Ceremonies will be local radio DJ James Morgan.

Admission is free and donations are appreciated. For more information contact Naomi Cottoms at 870-338-8900, e-mail: ncottoms@aol.com or Dr. Myers at 662-247-3364, e-mail: JuneteenthDOC@yahoo.com; web site: www.JazzArkansas.com.

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