The JAC's Jazz Week is up and running

The Jazz Artists of Charleston host several intimate fundraisers

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This week, the Jazz Artists of Charleston celebrate the third Annual Jazz Artists of Charleston Day as declared by Mayor Joe Riley in 2010. The JAC folks have extended the holiday from a single day event into a “week-long celebration of the rich and vibrant jazz culture in Charleston.”

The JAC’s mission this week is to present several days of programming to raise funds and awareness for the organization, the musicians involved with it, and the Charleston Jazz Orchestra. “The JAC is invested in the preservation, development, and promotion of a vibrant and creative jazz culture, seeking to further this vision through the intimate concerts, special events, and educational programs offered during JAC Week,” says exec Leah Suarez. “The daily sessions will be followed by nightly special ticketed events, creating listener-friendly environments with a focus on artistic production and audience engagement. These unique performances include exciting debuts in intimate settings and are not to be missed.”

This evening (Tues. April 10), the versatile Pulse Trio — bassist Ben Wells, drummer Stuart White, and organist Sam Sfirri — will play a variety of jazz and funk from 5-10 p.m. at the JAC’s “See Jazz” event at Jericho Advisors (218 Saint Philip St.). The show will also feature galleries of behind-the-scene photographs, collectible posters, and artwork from Alice Keeney, Priscilla Thomas, Ben Williams, Reese Moore, Nathan Durfee, and other local artists. The $20 admission includes light hors d’oeuvres and libations. A reception follows from 8-10 p.m. Proceeds benefit the JAC.

On Wed. April 11, an elegant program titled Rhapsody in Blue and Green will take place at the JAC’s headquarters, the Charleston Jazz House (185 Saint Philip St.). JAC veterans Tommy Gill (piano), Charlton Singleton (trumpet), and Mark Sterbank (sax) will perform from 7-9 p.m. at the venue as part of the jazz week. Gill will present portions of his extended arrangement of George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue. Seating is limited to 20. Wines will be available. Admission is a $250 donation that directly benefit the JAC.

The big, big JAC show of the week is the South Carolina Hit Parade at the Memminger Auditorium (56 Beaufain St.) on Thurs. April 12. It’s the debut of the Charleston Jazz Orchestra Chamber Ensemble, and it will feature a program of adapted arrangements. The original South Carolina Hit Parade (produced by late JAC board member Jack McCray) debuted five years ago as the Charlton Singleton Orchestra, presented by Jazz Artists of Charleston. “This inaugural concert marked the birth of what is now Charleston’s own resident big band, the Charleston Jazz Orchestra,” Suarez says. Thursday’s concert is designed as a tribute to McCray, with the debut of a nine-piece chamber ensemble and “music composed, arranged, and made famous by South Carolina musicians.” The show runs from 7-11 p.m. general admission tickets are available for $100, and there are several VIP and group ticket options as well. Proceeds benefit the JAC.

Call the JAC directly at (843) 641-0011 for more info.

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