Jazz Under the Stars kicks off TroyFest

Published 3:00 am Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Although Mother Nature has held true in bringing April showers Pike County’s way, clear skies are forecast for Jazz Under the Stars at 6 o’clock tonight on the square in downtown Troy. Admission is free and open to the public.

Jazz Under the Stars is the kickoff event for Troy Fest 2016, which will be held on the square Saturday and Sunday.

Shelia Jackson, Troy publicity director, said a festive event has been planned to get Troy Fest off to a great start.

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“Troy Fest is an art and craft festival that features some of the areas most outstanding artists and craftsmen,” Jackson said. “And, because Troy Fest celebrates the arts, we wanted to kick the festival off with music which is also an art – an art of a different kind.”

American jazz was born in New Orleans and it’s an art form that is associated with the South.”

Jackson said the Troy University Jazz Ensemble, under the direction of Eric Ward, will take center stage at Jazz Under the Stars.

And, all that jazz will open the floor for yet another form of art – dance.

“We encourage people to get up and dance,” Ward said. “We want them to strut their stuff, especially on some of the Big Band tunes that are great listening music and also great music for dancing.”

Ward said the ensemble will play a mixture of music, including the old standards from the 1930s and 1940s and more recent Big Band music.

“We’ll play Tommy Dorsey’s ‘I’m Getting Sentimental Over You’ and then we’ll switch over and play Gordon Goodwin’s ‘Hit the Ground Running’ and another Big Band song, ‘Jazz Police.’”

Jazz Under the Stars will also feature Shelia Jackson singing “Georgia on my Mind,” Carol Ann Osborne with “Someone to Watch over Me” and Jim Bell’s rendition of “Almost Like Being in Love.”

“The jazz concert will be about an hour in length and everyone is invited to bring a picnic to enjoy during the concert. Water and juice will be furnished, with candy bars for dessert.

“Jazz Under the Stars is a great kick-off event for Troy Fest,” Jackson said. “We’ll have music and dancing, food and fellowship. There’s no better way to spend a night under the stars. Everyone is invited to help get Troy Fest off to a great start tonight and to make plans to attend Troy Fest in downtown Troy  from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. Saturday and from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. Sunday. Admission is free.