FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (7/28/10)
Contact: Rev. Ronald V. Myers, Sr., M.D., Artistic Director
Mississippi Jazz & Heritage Festival
LATE JAZZ PIANIST HANK JONES
BIRTHDAY CONCERT JULY 31ST
LATE VICKSBURG NATIVE JAZZ GREAT
HANK JONES HONORED SATURDAY
HAPPY BIRTHDAY HANK JONES!
(Vicksburg, MS) – Vicksburg native and legendary jazz pianist Hank Jones, will be celebrated and honored on Saturday,
July 31st, with a birthday concert, at Coral Room Theatre, 801 Clay Street, in Vicksburg, Mississippi, beginning at
8:00pm. Jones, who passed away in New York in May, at the age of 91, would have been 92 years old.
Jones was born in Vicksburg, Mississippi on July 31, 1918. He was raised along with his brothers Thad and Elvin in the
Pontiac, Michigan area, where their father was Baptist deacon and lumber inspector. All three brothers went on to prominence
as jazz musicians. Hank, the eldest, was the last one to pass on.
Jones was known for his light touch and his embrace of bebop's fast pace and complex phrasing. He played "as though he were
plucking the piano's strings instead of striking its keys, and his gracefully restrained single-note style are a
reformulation of their aesthetic in modern jazz.," wrote David Rosenthal in "Hard Bop: Jazz and Black Music, 1955- 1965."
He made his New York debut in 1944 with jazz trumpeter Oran "Hot Lips" Page at the Onyx Club on 52nd Street in New York.
He went on to make hundreds of recordings with the likes of Charlie Parker and Ella Fitzgerald, playing venues from
nightclubs to Broadway.
Along the way, he was nominated for five Grammy awards before winning a Lifetime Achievement Grammy in 2009. He also
received the National Medal of Arts and the National Endowment of the Arts' Jazz Masters Award.
"I am returning to Vicksburg for my second concert," 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. Myers, the
National Juneteenth Jazz Artist, performs at Juneteenth Jazz & Arts Festivals across the
country and was a featured guest jazz artist at the 2006 Miles Davis 80th Birthday Concert in East St. Louis.
"Mississippi has a rich jazz legacy that most importantly includes Vicksburg natives Milt "the Judge" Hinton,
the father of the modern jazz bass, and one of the greatest and most influentual jazz pianist of all time, Hank Jones."
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". Joining Myers will be noted Mississippi jazz musicians, including
bassist Dr. London Branch, vocalist and percussionist, Rod Shannon, saxophonist Sherrill Holly and drummer Hal Holbrook.
The concert is hosted by the Vicksburg Heritage League and the Vicksburg Blues Society.
Admission is free and donations are appreciated. For more information contact Dr. Myers at 662-247-3364,
e-mail: JuneteenthDOC@yahoo.com; web sites:
The Vicksburg Heritage League and the Vicksburg Blues Society can be contacted via e-mail:
The Mississippi Jazz & Heritage Festival is a cooperative effort sponsored by:
National Association of Juneteenth Jazz Presenters (NAJJP)
The Myers Foundation The Black Arts Music Society
The Smith Robertson Museum & Cultural Center