SURRATT: Alcorn Jazz Festival is a little-known Vicksburg gem – The Vicksburg Post

SURRATT: The Alcorn Jazz Festival is a little-known Vicksburg gem

Posted at 04:00 on Friday, November 4, 2022

Some of you may not read this until Friday night or over the weekend, so part of my post may leave you scratching your head wondering why I even mentioned an event that happened Friday after- midday.

But there is a method to my madness.

Jazz band Astral Project plays Gordon’s Alley Friday from 4:30-6 p.m. as part of the first installment of the 41st Alcorn State University Jazz Festival. As I write this I am playing some of their selections on the Pandora music site and the music is pretty good. Even if you’re not a jazz fan, it’s worth stopping in Gordon’s Alley to listen to them and take the time to let the music flow through you and allow you to venture away from the stress and excitement. activity of the day and relax.

The concert, like all Jazz Festival offerings, is free.

As far back as I can remember, I have loved listening to jazz. I guess it was my dad’s fault. He introduced me to Swing, Big Band and Dixieland music while I was growing up, and that turned into an interest in jazz. When I was in high school, I played in what was then called “stage band”, which gave me a greater appreciation for music.

I confess that I am not an expert or a jazz addict; my philosophy, unfortunately, is “I may not know jazz, but I know what I like”.

Which brings me back to Astral Project and the Jazz Festival. I’ve been covering the festival for several years now, and it’s helped me understand the music and made me appreciate jazz better. I plan to spend some time listening to the Astral Project on Friday afternoon in order to relax from the pressures and problems of the week. And that will help me look forward to Part 2 of the Alcorn State University Jazz Festival when it takes place in April.

But one thing bothers me about the festival. For an event that brings together national artists in Vicksburg and groups from high schools, colleges and universities from all over the south, the festival is not well attended by locals. Here’s your chance to hear great music, see young talent, and then catch a free concert by a nationally-acclaimed jazz artist — and people pass up.

People, we have a diamond, and to borrow from Gladys Knight’s song, we treat it like glass.

So in this column, I’m going to call on everyone who loves good music and patronizes the arts in Vicksburg and Warren County to come to the Vicksburg Convention Center on April 15th for the Jazz Festival, even if you spend a few hours listening to some of the school bands or the jazz educators concert – which I found more entertaining than the headliner concert – and get away from it all. The artists will appreciate it, the organizers too.

I will remind you in April.

About John Surratt

John Surratt graduated from Louisiana State University with a General Studies degree. He worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been on staff at the Vicksburg Post since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul’s Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

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