Press Release ST. LOUIS MEMORIAL JUNETEENTH JAZZ & ARTS FESTIVAL

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (6/3/10)

Contact: Rev. Ronald V. Myers, Sr., M.D., Founder & Chairman
             National Juneteenth Observance Foundation (NJOF)
             662-247-1471    662-247-3364
             e-mail: JuneteenthDOC@yahoo.com
             web site: www.NationalJuneteenth.com
             web site: www.JuneteenthJazz.com

             Rev. William Gwynn, Secretary
             National Juneteenth Christian Leadership Council (NJCLC)
             314-218-0244
             e-mail: dapreach2000@yahoo.com
             web sites: www.njclc.com


2010 St. Louis Memorial Juneteenth Jazz & Arts Festival

Juneteenth Jazz & Arts Festival to
Honor Jazz Pianist John Hicks

2010 Black Music Month Juneteenth Jazz &
Arts Festival Features Ron Myers


Horn In The Corn John Hicks
Ron Myers                                        John Hicks


(St. Louis, Missouri) - St. Louis rich black jazz heritage and legacy will be celebrated during the St. Louis Memorial Juneteenth Jazz & Arts Festival. The festival is hosted by Hope of Glory Christian Assembly, Rev. William Gwynn, Pastor, on Thursday, June 10, 2010, in the church parking lot, 4001 Cottage Avenue, from 6:00 - 9:00pm.

Juneteenth is officially recognized as a state holiday observance in Missouri, joining a total of 36 states and the District of Columbia in the recognition of America's 2nd Independence Day. The festival is sponsored by the National Association of Juneteenth Jazz Presenters (NAJJP) and is a part of the "June is Black Music Month!" - CELEBRATING JUNETEENTH JAZZ - "Preserving Our African American Jazz Legacy!" national concert series.

Juneteenth commemorates the day when slaves in the last geographic area in America where slavery existed learned of their freedom. This took place on June 19, 1865, in Galveston, Texas, when Union General Gordon Granger read General Order #3, announcing that "all slaves are free" by Proclamation of President Abraham Lincoln. The Emancipation Proclamation was signed by President Abraham Lincoln on September 22, 1862, and issued on January 1, 1863. It took over two and a half years for the news to travel to southwest Texas. The National Juneteenth Holiday Campaign continues to work to establish Juneteenth as a National Holiday Observance in America.

The festival is in honor of the late legendary jazz pianist John Hicks who learned to play the piano and graduated from high school in St. Louis. Hicks studied music and graduated from Lincoln University. before moving to New York in 1963.

Hicks was a member of Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers (1964-1965) and ocassionally in the 1970's, worked with Betty Carter (1966-1968, 1975-1980). From the early 1980s until his death he performed solo and led his own groups including The Keystone Trio. Hicks played and recorded with great jazz artists such as David Murray, Lee Morgan, David "Fathead" Newman, John Gilmore and many others.

"St. Louis has an important Juneteenth Jazz legacy through the historic Missouri Juneteenth Heritage & Jazz Festival founded by Curtis Faulkner in 1997, that continues to influence our "Modern Juneteenth Movement" and the National Juneteenth Holiday Campaign," states Rev. Ronald V. Myers, Sr., M.D., Founder & Chairman of the National Juneteenth Observance Foundation (NJOF) and the National Juneteenth Holiday Campaign. "We have become partners with Dr. Larry Ridley and the African American Jazz Caucus (AAJC) in the celebration of HBCU jazz education in America. As a graduate of Lincoln University, an HBCU, this includes the legacy of St. Louis jazz pianist John Hicks. These are the reasons why the annual St. Louis Memorial Juneteenth Jazz & Arts Festival will be taking place every year."

The festival's featured artist will be accomplished jazz pianist and trumpeter, National Juneteenth Jazz Artist, Ron Myers. Myers was the guest artist at the 2006 Lifting the Legacy: MO' Music & Juneteenth Jazz Concert in East St. Louis, IL. Myers has also performed and recorded with the late legendary Kansas City native jazz drummer "Delightful Dee" Al Bartee. Percussionist Wilton Knott will be featured on along with Cuban percussionist Earlton Batles Manley and jazz saxophonist Phillip Stackhouse. Also performing will be Aye Aton, legendary drummer of the Sun Ra Arkestra, percussionist Eddy "D" and Kansas City jazz bassist Rickey Anderson.

An opening Juneteenth Art Exhibit, honoring the late National Juneteenth Visual Artist Alvin Carter, will take place at 6:00pm.

Information about the festival can be found at www.JazzMissouri.com or www.JuneteenthJazz.com. Also contact Rev. William Gwynn at 314-218-0244, Dr. Ron Myers at 662-247-3364, e-mail: JuneteenthDOC@yahoo.com or web site: www.NationalJuneteenth.com.

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