Audience enjoys first Jazz Fest at the fair

Jazz Fest at the Carolina Classic Fair featured several different performers and fun for the entire family.

Audience enjoys first Jazz Fest at the fair
October 13
14:06 2021

The Jazz Fest at the Carolina Classic Fair was a welcomed change to the annual Gospel Fest brought to you by The Chronicle. The collection of instruments, singers and performers was the perfect mix for any jazz lover in attendance.

“Hey, that’s my type of music,” said Jerry Adams. “I was expecting gospel music when I came, because that’s what I was used to hearing here, but when I got to the clock tower and heard a saxophone playing, I thought I was at the wrong place. I like what I’ve heard so far and I hope it comes back next year.”

Singer Janeen opened up the day with her jazz singing performance. Her old school style of singing and scatting was reminiscent of the jazz performers of the past. She had the crowd bobbing their heads from the start.

“It was fun, and I loved it,” said Janeen. “Billie Holiday is my favorite jazz singer and I also love Betty Carter, so I would say a combination of those two are who inspired me. I also love Phyllis Hyman, even though people don’t consider her jazz.

“Everyone has been great, and this feels like a community; I felt embraced. I enjoyed it and maybe was a little nervous at first, but the crowd made me feel relaxed.”

Janeen says she became interested in jazz because her father used to play it in the house when she was a youth. He was also a trumpet player and she adopted her love of the genre from her dad.

“It’s almost spiritual, jazz is,” she continued. “It takes you to another realm. It’s my yoga. I like to sing it and listen to it to relax. It’s calming and peaceful and I love it.”

The young fellows of Genre also tore up the stage Sunday afternoon. The band consisting of Cam’Ron Amos (drums), DFlat (keyboard) and Cameron Holt (bass) brought back good memories with their renditions of hits from decades ago,

“It was nice, we had a good time playing some old school music for them and it was fun,” said Holt. “Since I was a kid, I’ve always loved music, so that was just in me. My whole family are musicians, so that has always been in me.”

Amos added, “For me, I like to be versatile, I don’t like to stay in one genre. I kind of gravitated to old school music growing up also.”

“Realizing that music is the only universal language, so it gives me an opportunity to speak to everybody around the world in one language,” said DFlat.

Other artists such as Keith Byrd and Colin Sorbets, Greg Amos, DFlat and N3W Sound, and Peace of Mind Movement also graced the stage. Each brought their own unique flavor of jazz to those in attendance.

Saxophone soloist Kenny Anderson brought a mellow vibe to the stage. His smooth instrument playing had people in the crowd closing their eyes and swaying from left to right.

“I really, really enjoyed it myself and it gives my heart great joy just to be a part of this,” said Anderson. “I’m actually a basement saxophonist and I am just inspired for the invitation to be a part of this great event.

“Coming up as a kid, I was always impressed with my brother, who played saxophone back in the day. I always liked the sound of the saxophone and I remember when I first started the saxophone as a beginner, I used to play in the house and my dad used to say ‘Boy, if you don’t get out of here and go up in them woods and play that thing’ and I actually did that. As I kept on, God kept on giving notes to me and I have been doing it ever since.”

Anderson says he is used to being in front of a crowd because he is a minister. He says he is inspired by musicians like Kenny G.

“I grew up listening to Kenny G; couldn’t play like Kenny G, but I always listened. I wasn’t an everyday sax player, but every time I would drive, or get down in the basement and listen to some sax music, it kind of mellows my mind and my heart and it clears my mind. I suffer from migraine headaches and if I go down in the basement and get to playing, it mellows it out.

All in all, Jazz Fest was a big hit with fans at the fair. The combination of the gospel music for week one with the jazz music for the second week adds another element to the annual musical series brought to you by The Chronicle.

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Timothy Ramsey

Timothy Ramsey

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