Karen Gordon tested Columbia County's jazz waters in the spring with favorable results.
"It really went well. The music was great, and the audiences appreciated it," said Gordon, who is organizing a Fall Colors of Jazz series, starting Thursday, at the Augusta Jewish Community Center in Evans.
Gordon has organized numerous jazz events in Aiken and Augusta, including the Riverwalk Candlelight Jazz Concert Series, but the spring event was her first foray into Columbia County.
She patterned the spring series after the colors of the season. Bands played colorful tunes -- literally. Some of the pieces had color words in their titles. For this new season, however, Gordon has taken the limits off.
"I just asked the musicians to come and share," she said.
A promoter of local musicians or musicians with some tie to the Augusta area, Gordon has brought together a mix of performers for the concert series.
It begins with Kemba Cofield, an artist on Augusta native Wycliffe Gordon's Bluesback Records label.
"She's a singer, musician and music teacher in Atlanta," said Gordon. "She sounds a lot like Ella Fitzgerald."
The next concert in the series is musician Michael Dease, a John S. Davidson Fine Arts Magnet School graduate who went on to The Juilliard School in New York and has recently recorded a jazz CD.
"He's a trombonist and plays a lot of other instruments, all of the brass," said Gordon. "He's releasing his CD and agreed to come to Augusta to help promote it."
Dease will be in concert on Nov. 11.
The final concert is probably the one that excites Gordon most. For a Labor Day weekend jazz festival at the Augusta Common, Gordon had wanted to get an all-female jazz ensemble together, but she knew she couldn't play in a band and organize a large event at the same time.
Since then, area educator and vocalist Gail LeVon has put together an all-female jazz group called the Girls Wear Lipstick Jazz Ensemble.
"I'm really excited about Gail's group," she said.
The ensemble will close out the fall series on Dec. 9.
All of the concerts start at 7:30 p.m. and will be held at the Augusta Jewish Community Center, 898 Weinberger Way, Evans. Tickets are $15 per concert or $35 for the series.
For ticket information, call (706) 228-3636 or purchase tickets online at www.columbiacountyjazz.com.
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