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Legends of Jazz benefits Relay

The Troy Univeristy Jazz Ensembles will donate proceeds from their upcoming concert to the Relay for Life.

The Troy University “Legends of Jazz” Festival at the Claudia Crosby Theater on Friday is a special event in support of the 2011 Pike County Relay for Life fundraising campaign.

The Festival will get underway at 2 p.m. at the Claudia Crosby Theater with local high school and college jazz bands participating.

The concluding performance of “Legends of Jazz” Festival will be at 7:30 p.m. at the Claudia Crosby Theater featuring the Troy University Jazz Ensemble No. 1 with guest artists Jim Bell, Hall of Fame jazz pianist, and Bob Snyder, Troy University professor of jazz piano and nationally known jazz artist and former member of the Airman of Note, and Johnny Mizzell, former lead alto and director of the Alabama Cavilers.

“Jim Bell, Bob Snyder and Johnny Mizzell are ‘Legends of Jazz,’” said Ray Smith, Troy University director of jazz studies. “We are excited and honored to bring them all together for this year’s jazz festival. It is a rare opportunity for our community to have the opportunity to hear three such outstanding jazz musicians under one roof.”

Smith said this year’s event is special for another reason.

“The Troy University Jazz program is joining the fight against cancer,” Smith said. “Admission is free to the day’s concerts by the Troy University Jazz Ensemble and the high school and college bands as well as the 7:30 featured concert. However, donations will be accepted in the lobby of the Crosby Theater in support of the Pike County Relay for Life fundraising campaign.”

All money collected will be donated to the Pike County Relay for Life team with the most members in attendance during the festival.

“Kay Franklin, the community representative for the American Cancer Society, will present the proceeds to the winning Relay team at the Featured Concert,” Smith said. “So, we encourage everyone to come out and enjoy some great jazz music and support the fight against the cancer at the same time.”

The “Legends of Jazz” Festival will began at 2 p.m. Friday at the Claudia Crosby Theater with the Troy University Jazz Ensemble as the host band. Other participating high school jazz bands will include Pike County, Daleville, Charles Henderson and Enterprise.

Participating college bands will be Baptist College of Florida and Chipola College.