Cheraw will be celebrating the legacy of native son and jazz great Dizzy Gillespie with acclaimed musical artists during the 10th South Carolina Jazz Festival Friday, Oct. 16 through Sunday, Oct. 18.
There will be two ticketed events at the Theatre on the Green and numerous free performances during the festival weekend.
Featured artists at Cheraw’s Theatre on the Green are percussionist Ignacio Berroa on Friday and jazz vocalist and pianist Carol Welsman on Saturday.
Both performances start at 7 p.m. Tickets can be purchased at www.scjazzfestival.com. A single-evening pass is $30 while a two-day weekend pass for both evening concerts is $50.
As a percussionist in Dizzy’s bands, Gillespie best defined Berroa as: “… the only Latin drummer in the world in the history of American music that intimately knows both worlds: his native Afro-Cuban music as well as jazz…”
Joining Berroa in a salute to Gillespie will be two South Carolina musicians. South Carolina’s ambassador to jazz, saxophonist Skipp Pearson, and trumpet player Mark Rapp will perform one of Gillespie’s compositions with the Ignacio Berroa Quartet.
Carol Welsman comes to Cheraw after the August release of her new CD “Alone Together” which is her 11th album. She will be joined by Berroa and bass player Hussain Jiffry.
In addition to concerts at the Theatre on the Green, festival-goers can participate in evening crawls at various venues on Friday and Saturday.
Returning this year are Sidecar Social Club, The Empire Strikes Brass band from Asheville, North Carolina, A New Creation, Mike Frost Band and Against All Odds Quintet featuring jazz vocalist Brenda Liverman.
New to the festival are Bumper Jacksons with their roots jazz, country swing and street blues sound, Mark Rapp featuring vocalist Kanika Moore and jazz guitarist JMichael Peeples.
Local favorites Rakim McQueen and Michael Knight will also be featured.
There will be music and dance throughout the day on Saturday downtown Cheraw at Centennial Park. Freedoms’ Groove of the Army Ground Forces Band of Fort Bragg, North Carolina will perform from 3:30-4:30 p.m. with the Kelley’s Fine Arts dancers performing from 2-3 p.m.
The festival weekend concludes with more musical presentations on Sunday, Oct. 18. There will be a jazz brunch at G.W. Long Presbyterian Church featuring A New Creation followed by an afternoon jazz Mass.
The jazz Mass will be hosted by First Presbyterian Church of Cheraw and will feature the Market Street Brass and the Jazz Mass Community Choir.
Contact the S.C. Jazz Festival at 843-537-8420, extension 12, for additional information about these artists and tickets. Visit www.scjazzfestival.com for details on all weekend happenings.
Lindsay Bennett is executive director of the Cheraw Arts Council.