June 29 Kick-off for Waynesville’s First Summer Jazz Festival

By Kay Stegall Miller | Jun 12, 2013
Source: www.wendyljonesmusic.com Jazz vocalist, Wendy Jones is a featured performer at the Summer Jazz Festival in Waynesville that starts June 29 at the Classic Wineseller.

Waynesville, NC - The Classic Wineseller, 20 Church Street, is hosting a Summer Jazz Festival on four consecutive Saturdays: June 29, July 6, July 13, and July 20, 2013 at 7:00pm. Each Saturday includes a lavish four-course dinner with concert for $39.99 per person. Purchase two or more show dates and save $5 per ticket. To reserve your table call 828-452-6000, or email requests to info@classicwineseller.com. Seating is limited.

Top jazz artists from the southeast will join composer-pianist, and Steinway Artist, Michael Jefry Stevens for four Saturday evenings of live jazz in the underground environs at the Classic Wineseller. The Summer Jazz Festival schedule is: Michael Jefry Stevens, piano; Rusty Holloway, bass; and, Rick Dilling, drums at the June 29 kick-off concert. On Saturday, July 6, Stevens returns with bassist, Mike Holstein, and drummer, Sonny Thornton. Vibraphone player, Byron Hedgepeth shares the spotlight with Stevens on July 13. Jazz vocalist, Wendy Jones is accompanied by Michael Jefry Stevens at the Festival's final concert on July 20.

Michael Jefry Stevens performs extensively in Europe, Latin America and North America. A band leader for over 30 years, Stevens has more than 75 CDs featuring his music. He has performed and/or recorded with many of the top names in jazz, including Dave Liebman, Dave Douglas, Valery Ponomarev, Cecil Bridgewater, Dakota Staton, Bill McHenry, Leo Smith, Perry Robinson, Matt Wilson. He was the Margaret Lee Crofts Fellow at the McDowell Colony in 2000-2001; and is an artist-in-residence for two weeks every year at EMU Conservatory in La Plata, Argentina. He resides in Black Mountain, NC with his wife, the poet Tina Barr.

Rick Dilling has a long list of recording credits to his name and has played for some of the greatest musicians of all time including the Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra, Margaret Whiting, Clark Terry, Ernie Watts, Herb Ellis, Joe Temperly, Billy Taylor, the Unifour Jazz Big Band, where he "drum-battled" it out onstage with the late, great Louie Bellson. Dilling is also on faculty at Appalachian State University where he teaches jazz drumset and regularly performs with the faculty jazz ensemble.

Bassist/composer Mike Holstein has been playing music since early childhood but it wasn’t until he was a student at Western Carolina University that he discovered the bass. Within a few years he was performing regularly and has now become one of the most sought after bassists in the Southeast. Since 2004, Holstein has been a member of the band, Cotangent, a New York-based group led by pianist/composer, Bill Gerhardt. Holstein has recorded the CDs “Stained Glass” and “Thrive” with the band, Cotangent, a New York-based group.

Sonny Thornton is is a master drummer and one of the south's most creative, intuitive musicians. Born in the District of Columbia, he was exposed to music at a very young age living in D.C., New York City, and New Orleans. While in New Orleans, he developed a friendship with Ed Blackwell, one of the most influential drummers of Twentieth Century. Thornton is extremely sensitive to the needs of the music and can be understated in his approach. His sense of freedom and his melodic style of soloing sets him apart from most drummers performing today. After relocating to South Carolina, Thornton embarked on his long career of making music in the purist sense.

Byron Hedgepeth is among the most versatile percussionists in the southeast. He completed a bachelor's degree at Mars Hill College and a master's degree at the University of Illinois. He started the percussion program at the University of North Carolina at Asheville in 1981, and served as Director of Percussion Studies until July of 2005. Hedgepeth is currently teaching classical percussion, vibes and drum set at Appalachian State University.

Wendy Jones delivers smart and arresting jazz vocals with such passion and skill that she is now one of the most popular jazz artists in Western North Carolina. She consistently receives accolades for her energetic and entertaining renditions of cool, bop, and post bop standards. Jones received her B.M. and M.M. in vocal performance from Appalachian State University, then joined the faculty where she taught voice for eight years before embarking on a full-time, professional singing and acting career. She is currently on faculty at the University of North Carolina-Asheville where she teaches voice and improvisation to jazz voice majors.

The Classic Wineseller, Waynesville’s premiere retail wine and craft beer shop, small plate restaurant, and intimate live music venue presents local, regional, and on occasion, national talent, in a unique, intimate setting each weekend. The Classic Wineseller kitchen opens at 5:30pm on weekend evenings serving freshly prepared small plate fare. For more information about live music events, tastings, and jazz  dinners visit us at www.classicwineseller.com on facebook or call 828-452-6000.