The coolest Thursday nights of free outdoor jazz concerts will be held this summer in Whitmore Park at Calvert and Clay streets in Uptown Annapolis. This new Annapolis jazz concert series titled “ The Dixie Hotel Thursday Jazz Nights” will be highlighting some of the regions best jazz bands every other Thursday evening June 14th through October 4th from 6-8pm.
The concert Series is named after the popular hotel in the old Fourth Ward. During the 30’s, 40’s and 50’s national acts including Bille Holiday, Pearl Bailey, Sarah Vaughn and Cab Calloway performed or stayed in the neighborhood. The Dixie Hotel and the Star Theatre were the places to go for entertainment in this community before urban renewal in the 1970’s replaced a vibrant community with government office buildings, a parking garage and vacant lots.
This concert series will again bring Jazz back to the neighborhood and help raise awareness of Whitmore Park which was recently rescued from yet another office building project and is now in its redesign and fundraising phase by Friends of Annapolis Parks in cooperation with the City of Annapolis and Anne Arundel County.
The First concert on June 14th will feature the group Spice. They are one of the hottest jazz ensembles to date with an appeal that has earned them recognition from their listeners and contemporaries alike. The music of Spice has a sound that is distinctly unique with musical arrangements filled with warmth, originality, excitement and it’s all executed with such precision that it would please the most critical ear. Performing everything from traditional jazz to contemporary sounds, Spice will astound audiences with their experience and professionalism.
The Second Concert on June 28th features Jasacatu. They are a blend of acoustic and electric sounds that play to the rhythms of the conga drums. The instrumentation consists of violin, flutes, acoustic/electric guitars, bass and a wide variety of percussion sounds that are pleasing to the human intellect. This unique array of musicians performs musical styles of Latin music, pop, jazz, R&B and original compositions. The musicians are: Larry Griffin, percussion; Richard Rausch, guitars; Lucas Lechowski, violin; John Starr, flutes; and, Jesse Powers, bass.
The free jazz concerts will be held from 6-8pm on every other Thursday in the park at the corner of Calvert and Clay streets from June 14th through October 4th. On site parking is available in the Whitmore Parking Garage and across the street from the park at Gott’s Court Garage.
Bring your lawn chairs and blankets. And don’t forget all of your favorite restaurants along West Street will offer carry out to help you picnic in the park.
The Dixie Hotel Thursday Jazz Nights are
Sponsored by Friends of Annapolis Parks and We Care and Friends.
Hosted by Larry Griffin.
For more information about events at the park visit www.friendsofannapolisparks.com