NCJF Patron Profiles and Comments

Our patrons come from all across the country and from all walks of life. The following are comments from some patrons who have enjoyed their North Carolina Jazz Festival experience, as well as some patron profiles. We will continue to add to these in the coming months.

Becky and Bruce Moline, NCJF patrons from Charlotte, generously donated 10 photo posters of famous jazz musicians from the past to the festival. These were displayed at the Saturday Patrons’ Brunch during the 2017 event. The posters had been in a storage unit belonging to Becky’s father for over twenty five years, so they are in great shape! We thank the Molines for their generosity in sharing them with us.

“During our multi-year involvement as patrons of the annual North Carolina Jazz Festival (NCJF) we have especially enjoyed the enormous talent and enthusiasm of all the special event guests and the NCJF All-Stars. We applaud the Board of Directors for its annual artist selections that continue to achieve a genre balance between traditional and straight-ahead jazz.——” Elaine & Victor Chap

Susie Bock wrote: “Your festival was recommended by some friends and being music lovers, we attended last year. We were amazed at the talent of the musicians. They made the entire festival so much fun! We can’t wait for next year’s event. Thanks and see you then.”

Elena Jones of Wilmington said: “A writer I am not, but a N C Jazz Festival fan I am! I have been attending since before it was an official festival and each year is better that the last.”

Catherine Breeden wrote “As first time patrons of the NC Jazz Festival in 2016, my friend Hank and I spent a weekend listening to outstanding performers and mingling with fellow jazz lovers. A saxophone player himself, Hank particularly enjoyed playing on stage with the musicians during Saturday’s jazz brunch.

Ned Attayek of Durham wrote ” When I attended the North Carolina Jazz Festival for the very first time many years ago, I remember being amazed and a bit surprised at what I was seeing and hearing….the best jazz being performed live by some of the best jazz musicians in the world right here in my own backyard. And every year since, my reaction has been the same. It’s an incredible festival weekend run by fantastic people with great music by great musicians at an accommodating and comfortable venue in a wonderful location! It truly is one of North Carolina’s best-kept secrets. kudos to Sandy and her staff. Looking forward as always to my favorite weekend of the year.”

Liz Ashton, a patron from Texas commented “NCJF will always be on my Texas calendar. True, I’ve only been to 2015 and 2016 affairs, but in that year’s time the quality and the presence of the players–Adrian Cunningham comes to mind–have moved up another notch. I like the 2016 move away from the strictly Bourbon Street beat to what i can only label classic, sophisticated European Jazz, and who could fault the sumptuous Saturday Brunch? Don’t stop!”

Joel Albert of the Potomac River Jazz Club added “First , a compliment – you run a good festival operation in an era of vanishing festivals. Distinguished especially by your choice of players. The year I was able to attend there were four of my jazz camp teachers on stage. More like old home weekend. The second compliment has to do with the way you have arranged for the musicians to encourage your local students at the clinics.”

“Sorry to be so long to write—time does fly. Cannot tell you how much I enjoyed the JazzFest this year. So much fun, best music ever and best I ever attended in the States. It was a WOW! You all do a fantastic job. Keep up the great work.” —Becky Byrd

” I wish to express my sincere appreciation for your dedication, your efforts and your success in making the North Carolina Jazz Festival enjoyable for all of us. We have been attending since the 1990s and Mary and I both believe that the festival has improved each year for the past several years and this year was no exception. For us, it was one of the best ever. We wish you continued success, Thank you, Thank you, Thank you. ” —Dr. Bob Notari

Agnes and Page Hite

Agnes and Page HiteNCJF:  Please tell us a little bit about yourself.

Page:  Agnes and I are retired after too many years in the IT industry. We have  lived in Northern Virginia for the last 26 years. Before that we lived in Houston, TX and ClemsonUniversity in South Carolina. We spend as much time as possible attending live performances, primarily blues and jazz and some theatre. There are so many venues in Washington, DC that it’s hard to keep up. We go to New York two or three times a year for Broadway shows and various musical performances. A recent trip found us at “Old Hats” with Bill Irwin and David Shiner, listening to Fred Hersch and Esperanza Spalding  at the Jazz Standard, then “Kinky Boots the Musical” (incredible) and Bette Midler in “I’ll Eat You Last” (not so much). Later this year we’ll be travelling on the JazzDagen jazz cruise on the St. Lawrence River.  For many years I have run the websites for a number of Blues artists    including Delbert McClinton, Marcia Ball, Lloyd Jones and others. Agnes and I may not perform onstage, but we do get to enjoy some time back stage.

NCJF:  How long have you been attending the NCJF?

Page: our first, but will DEFINITELY not be our last. We had four in our group and for 2014 we’re trying to fill at least one and possibly two patrons’ tables.

NCJF:  How did you first learn of this festival?

Page:  Through our friend Peter Schmidt, who joined us at the 2013 NCJF along with   his fiancé Diane Berry. Peter learned of it from percussionist Chuck Redd. We introduced Peter to Chuck at a performance by Chuck and Nicki Parrott at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Washington, DC, so it came full circle.

NCJF:  What attracted you to it?

Page:  I would have to say the opportunity to hear so many great artists over a few days in comfortable surroundings. Both Agnes and I agree that the 2013 NCJF was one of the most satisfying musical experiences of our lives.

NCJF:  How long have you been a patron?

Page:  Just since our first NCJF 2013, but hopefully for a long time to come.

NCJF:  Do you play a musical instrument & if so do you participate in the Patron/All-   star Jam during the Patron Brunch?

Page:  Agnes studied clarinet for 7 years and classical piano for 15 years. I started    out on trumpet and French horn, and then moved on to guitar, bass, and keyboards, primarily in rock and blues. I’m afraid neither of us has the necessary jazz chops to keep up during the Patron Brunch.

NCJF:  Do you have an interesting story connected to your attending the NCJF?

Page:  Not so much a story as a comment. For 19 years Agnes and I have spent a     week each January on the Delbert McClinton and Friends Sandy Beaches Cruise listening to blues, country, Zydeco, and rock artists along with songwriters and late-night piano bar jazz. We hope that we will be able to spend a few days in February at the NCJF for the next 19 years, at least.