On the evening of Thursday April 4, 2013, the annual Atlanta Jazz Festival officially kicked off! A pre-Jazz Festival Reception and Press conference was held at the Loews Hotel to a standing room only crowd.
It was a festive mood — almost as if the attendees couldn’t wait for Memorial Day Weekend and the actual festival kick-off! Attendees were graced with the attendance and performance of Alexandra Jackson, female vocalist extraordinaire. Ms. Jackson is a staple in the metropolitan Atlanta area — and just happens to be the youngest daughter of former Mayor Maynard Jackson; what a coincidence that Mayor Jackson was Atlanta’s mayor at the time of the inaugural Atlanta Jazz Festival – and now, years later his daughter is performing. Karma!
Mayor Kasim Reed appropriately reminded the audience what a vibrant and active city Atlanta is — this weekend alone, the Braves were at Turner Field, the Hawks were playing at Philips Arena (The Highlight Factory), we were greasing the runway for the Jazz Festival, and the NCAA’s Final Four is gearing up at the Georgia Dome…… awesome!
While Mr. Reed was at the podium, he took time to unveil the wonderful artwork of Charly Palmer; Charly is responsible for the artwork that makes up the official Jazz Festival posters, flyers, programs, etc. Kudos to Charly as well as to Zucot Gallery in Castleberry Hill who is hosting an exhibition of Charly’s work — check it out; and while you’re there make sure you check out all the wonderful work in the gallery, including unbelievable work by Aaron Henderson; while you’re there you can also show some love to proprietor’s Onaje and Omare Henderson; two fine young men who are representing the best in African-American art here in Atlanta.The entire staff at The Peach Review® is in anxious anticipation of the upcoming Jazz Festival; based on the published lineup it should be all that, and a bag of Doritos! We’re specifically looking forward to checking out bassist / vocalist Me’Shell Ndegeocello, vocalist Gretchen Parlato, and saxophonist Tia Fuller (purely coincidental that these are all female artists).
Finally, Kudos to the entire Atlanta Jazz Festival planning team — you guys have represented The City well! If the festival itself comes off half as well as tonight’s pre-festival festivities, the city of Atlanta should be in for a great Memorial Day Weekend!
(photos by Robb D. Cohen)