PB Summer Jazz Festival to offer activities, events for jazz enthusiasts

The Novel T’s Pine Bluff Summer Jazz Festival, a celebration of jazz in its different forms, kicked off Saturday and will provide an opportunity for seasoned jazz enthusiasts, and new jazz enthusiasts, to enjoy fun, relaxing activities throughout the week.

The Pine Bluff Summer Jazz Festival includes seminars, social events and concerts. Each entertaining event features skillful, artistic presentations and performances from knowledgeable and exciting musicians.

The opening reception will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. today, hosted by Fathers & Sons Clothiers, 2801 S. Olive St. The event will include light snacks, beverages, and jazz music playing in the background. It will also be an opportunity to socialize and set the mood for the festival. It is free and open to the public.

The festival will continue Wednesday with Open Mic Night at 7 p.m. at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff Business Incubator, 615 Main St. Sponsored by Novel T’s and Tastesetter Eatery, Open Mic Night will be an opportunity for artists to display their talents. The theme will be “Jazz” and artists are asked to express themselves using jazz history, themes, rhythms, or rhymes. This event is also free and open to the public.

At 7 p.m. Thursday in The Pines mall Food Court, 2901 Pines Mall Drive, the Jazz Aquarium Skreet Jam will bring the KUAP Jazz Aquarium radio show out of the radio and into the public. There will be music from the Jazz Aquarium radio show, as well as, live music. The event will include gifts, prizes, information and other fun things. The Skreet Jam is sponsored by Novel T’s, Arora and The Pines mall.

The Jazz Lounge, featuring JWhite, Charlotte Taylor and J Phil, will be held at 7 p.m. Friday at the Pine Bluff Convention Center Banquet Hall, 500 E. Eighth Ave. This event will showcase top-notch musicians and performers to an upscale audience in a small, relaxed social. Light snacks and drinks will be available. Tickets for this event are $40 VIP, and $20 general admission. Special VIP tables of eight can be reserved. Tickets can be purchased at Novel T’s, 1616 Linden St., Fathers & Sons Clothiers, Sheilah’s Designs, 3318 W. Pullen St., and online at www.novelts.com.

The Arts & Science Center for Southeast Arkansas, 701 Main St., will host the education component of the festival beginning at 1 p.m. Saturday with a presentation entitled, “Jazz and the African-American Influence.”

The presentation, “Jazz: From Africa to America, an African People’s Music”, will feature Stuttgart native Olujimi Tafataona. The public is invited to come and learn about this rich jazz history and the history of jazz. The event is free and open to the public.

The Arts & Science Center will also host the Jam Session from 3 to 4:30 p.m. Saturday. Participants are asked to bring their ax (instrument or voice) or just come watch the action.

The Main Event will be held at 7 p.m. Saturday at the Pine Bluff Convention Center Auditorium and will feature music by the Arkansas Jazz Orchestra, J Phil, and Rodney Block and The Real Music Lovers. Tickets for this event are $20 and can be purchased at Novel T’s, Fathers & Sons Clothiers in Jefferson Square, Sheilah’s Designs, and online at www.novelts.com.

The “After Effect”, which will be held RJ’s Sports Grill and Bar, 128 S. Main St., following the Main Event, will top off an evening of jazz with good music, conversation, food and drink and will feature the music of Legoria Payton and Friends.

For more information on any of the above events, call 870-534-0233.