By Sarrah Peters
On May 8, about 200 people filled the Mort Glosser Amphitheater to watch jazz flutist Sherry Reeves and T.A.D. of Jazz perform. Visitors came from throughout Alabama to attend.
“Jazz in the Park has its own audience,” said Gadsden Parks and Recreation Director Courtney Walker.
Walker himself was impressed by the quality of entertainment, noting that flutist Sherry Reeves ventured into the crowd during her captivating performance.
Last weekend, local talent the Liz Wood Project performed with On Purpose F. Dwight Houston.
This Sunday, May 22, the acclaimed Jazz in the Park concert series will feature performances by Isaac Byrd and Nils at the Mort Glosser Amphitheater. Byrd “plays the sultry trumpet like no other” according to his website. Nils is a jazz guitarist who has composed several film and television scores. The concert lasts from 6 p.m. until 9 p.m., and admission to the concert is free. Concert-goers are welcome to bring chairs, blankets and coolers.
Another Jazz in the Park concert will be held July 3. Guitarist George Freeman and trumpeter Willie Bradley will perform at the Mort Glosser Amphitheater on July 3 from 6 to 9 p.m. Admission will remain free. The Parks and Recreation Department is looking into making the July 3 event bigger as part of the July 4 weekend.
The Jazz in the Park concert series has more than 20 concerts throughout Alabama. The goal of the program is “bringing high quality entertainment to culturally underserved parks.” For a complete list of events, visit www.magiccitysmoothjazz.com/jazz-in-the-park.
The Jazz in the Park concert series is made possible by Magic City Smooth Jazz, a recognized charitable organization whose mission “is to expose and engage audiences in culturally underserved communities in the state of Alabama to various styles of jazz at no cost.”
According to Magic City Smooth Jazz, since 2008 the organization has performed “over 50 concerts, supporting over 250 Alabama jazz artists, impacting over 20,000 adults and children, while presenting music workshops for youth and adults.”
The Jazz in the Park concert series began in 2014 by performing jazz concerts in 14 parks in Jefferson, Shelby, and Tuscaloosa counties at no cost to the public. Magic City Smooth Jazz has also presented Jazz on the Hilltop and Walker County Arts Alliance for Arts in the Park.
In 2013, Jazz in the Park was voted one of the Best Local Music Festivals by Birmingham Magazine readers and residents after its first year in the poll.