Jazz at Dreams of Wilmington


The NC Jazz Festival will sponsor Doug Irving-bassist and other local musicians to perform live jazz at the DREAMS of Wilmington’s new space, The Garage, on June 23rd at 5pm. This is a community event and we are thrilled to be a part of it!!!

Doug Irving will be lead musician to perform jazz for Dreams of Wilmington in the new “Garage” space. Sean Meade, who recently graduated from UNCW,will be on saxophone. Keith Butler of the Keith Butler Trio, a UNCW graduate, will be on drums. Carlos Garcia, currently a student at UNCW, will be on keyboard. We are also excited to have Michaela Batton,who is a Parsons School of Design graduate, to tap dance during the jazz concert.

This is a community event held on June 23rd. Public is welcomed!!!!

Sea Pans – Opening Night

seapansFor the past ten years we have opened our festival with a group of local musicians playing a style of jazz that is different from the Traditional style of the festival. This year we are pleased to present SEA PANS, with a jazz style that has the “flavor” of Trinidad!
Sea Pans founder, Vince Stout, meticulously hand crafts and tunes steel barrels to create authentic versions of steel drums (Pans). Vince, a Wilmington native, is a classically trained double bassist (graduated from ECU with a degree in music). He plays bass with the Wilmington Opera Co., several regional chamber music groups as well as jazz.
Vince became intrigued with the sound of the steel drum band, and after meeting Trinidad native Ellie Mannette, who was teaching at the University of West Va., he learned to create this musical instrument from a steel drum. No small feat! There will be four “pans” at our festival, making it a quartet!
The musicians playing in the Sea Pans group are all professional musicians who play a variety of instruments – we will tell you more about them as we get closer to our February event.

NC Jazz Festival Workshop/Assembly

master1This year we had a concert at DC Virgo Middle school. There were about 100 students in attendance. Performing for the students were Herman Burney, Bria Skonberg, Jim Fryer, Adrian Cunningham, Nate Najar, and Quentin Baxter. The students were thoroughly entertained by the musicians. Each of the musicians spoke of jazz as compared to being on a sports team where each player knows their position. Bria explained that even though they did not practice beforehand they are able to perform as a band because they all know the jazz standards and that is the beauty of jazz! Will Smith, the band director, was thrilled at his students enthusiasm and curiosity about jazz. The students asked great questions of the musicians and even greeted them afterwards to check out the instruments up close! Thank you to DC Virgo Middle school and faculty for inviting us to perform.


At noon on Friday six of our All-Star musicians, under the leadership of trombonist Dion Tucker, gave a concert/workshop to their third, fourth and fifth grades.
During the opening , Wilmington Arts Council Director Rhonda Bellamy presented NCJF President Sandy Evans with a check for the grant awarded to the North Carolina Jazz Festival in order to make our Jazz Education Program possible.
Following that presentation, the musicians spoke to the students musically and verbally about their instruments and the music we call Jazz. They spoke about where it began and who some of the early jazz artists were. During the question and answer period the musicians were surprised at how well prepared the students were by the “in depth” answers they gave to some of their questions and the questions that the students asked the musicians! Obviously the school had been looking forward to this visit and the teachers had given the students the background that that made the musical presentation all the more meaningful!
As you can see from the photos, students and musicians had a “jazzy good time”!
This was our first visit to an elementary school and we are so pleased that we chose Snipes, as the enthusiasm of the administration and the students was inspiring!
“I appreciate your providing our students with such an awesome performance of fabulous musicians—they provided some instruction as well! Our students’ high interest and level of participation made me so proud! Please continue to partner with Snipes Academy!” a quote taken from the thank you note from Snipes principal, Cindy Talbert.

masterclass3  masterclass4

Masterclass reviews:
-What an incredible event! Thank you so much for all you do to make these masterclasses happen for these kids. The inspiration that takes place in just 2 hours is incredible to watch and I see that inspiration continue throughout the year. We are already looking forward to next year.
Take care and I hope to see you soon,
Anne Stohl-violin teacher/parent

-Just wanted to say congratulations on an awesome lineup and a great festival our kids really enjoyed it ,me too ! Roger Davis-Dreams teacher

-Claire Viadro & David Valleroy: On their sons Logan and Casey taking the master classes and participating in the Patrons brunch: The boys loved meeting Chuck Redd and Jonathan Russell and thoroughly enjoyed performing with Chuck and Herman Burney on the big stage. Your festival is clearly a peak event for jazz enthusiasts in this region, and we look forward to experiencing it again in future years.

Special thank you to Marc Robbins, George Ball and Herman Burney for taking great photos of our festival! You make us look great!!!!

$2000.00 Towards The NC Jazz Festival Masterclasses

Landfall Foundation presented Laura Crane with a check for $2000.00 towards the NC Jazz Festival masterclasses which are given to local students.

On Feb 5th, 2016 we had 7 masterclasses for local students given by: Adrian Cunningham-reeds/woodwinds, Nate Najar-guitar, Chuck Redd-percussion, Jonathan Russell-violin, Bria Skonberg-trumpet, Dion Tucker-trombone, and Herman Burney-bass guitar. Many of the students attending the masterclasses at the Hilton had the opportunity to attend Friday evening’s performance of the North Carolina Jazz Festival! This is made possible by grants and donations to our jazz education program. The students are always thrilled to see and hear jazz performed by the all-star musicians that conducted the masterclasses.