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NCCU’s Annual Jazz Festival Brings Renowned Musicians


Story By: Brian Byrd, NCCU Communications and Marketing Intern

North Carolina Central University (NCCU) Department of Music will host its 29th Annual NCCU Jazz Festival that runs from Monday, April 22, through Saturday, April 27, 2019, in B.N. Duke Auditorium. 

This year’s lineup will feature accomplished professional artists and student musicians from the NCCU Jazz Studies Program. All events are free and open to the public, with donations to the Department of Music encouraged.

Prominent jazz artists slated to perform include Grammy-nominated singer Nnenna Freelon and saxophonists Brian Miller and James Gates.

  • The festival will kick off with the NCCU Jazz Combos concert at 7 p.m., Monday, April 22.
  • NCCU Jazz Combos and Jazz Ensemble 2 will perform a live concert at 7 p.m., Tuesday, April 23.
  • At 7 p.m. on Wednesday, April 24, jazz percussion combo Carlos Bislip and Friends will perform a special concert.
  • NCCU Vocal Jazz Ensemble will open for renowned jazz artist Nnenna Freelon at 8 p.m. on Friday, April 26.
  • On Saturday, April 27, music will be provided by saxophonists Brian Miller and James Gates, with the NCCU Jazz Ensemble to open the show at 8 p.m.

NCCU was the first university in the state to offer the Bachelor of Music degree in jazz studies. The program now includes a comprehensive vocal jazz component and offers a Master of Music in both jazz composition and jazz performance. NCCU artists-in-residence and GRAMMY Award winners Branford Marsalis and Joey Calderazzo are involved in workshops and other instructional opportunities. Alumni from the jazz studies program include professors at the college and university levels, teachers of primary and secondary music education, as well as production and performance artists.

For more information, please contact Ira Wiggins at iwiggins@nccu.edu or 919-530-7214; Lenora Helm Hammonds at lhelm@nccu.edu or 919-530-6653; or Baron Tymas at btymas@nccu.edu.

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