The North Carolina Jazz Festival (a Southeast Tourism Society Top 20 Event) brings world-class artists to Wilmington, North Carolina. On February 5th through 7th, fifteen traditional and swing jazz musicians will take the stage for three days in an intimate setting at the Hilton Wilmington Riverside’s ballroom. Cabaret-style seating and All-Star musicians distinguish this as one of the largest traditional jazz festivals in the Southeast.
Celebrating its 35th year, the 2015 North Carolina Jazz Festival kicks off on Thursday night with a 3-hour “Styles of Jazz” concert featuring The Benny Hill Quartet (jazz standards), Molly Ryan with the Dan Levinson Quartet (swing), Rossano Sportiello (tribute to George Shearing), and Ed Polcer’s All-Star Jam.
Friday and Saturday evening features an All-Star musician lineup in a traditional presentation of seven sets, each with different leaders. This year’s artists include: Adrian Cunningham and Dan Levinson (reeds), Ed Polcer (cornet), Nate Najar (guitar), Nicki Parrott (bass, vocals), Vincent Gardner (trombone), Rossano Sportiello and Mark Shane (piano), Kevin Dorn and Chuck Redd (drums), Herman Burney (bass), Bria Skonberg (trumpet/vocals), Molly Ryan (vocals), Benny Hill (sax) and the highly anticipated return of Jonathan Russell (violin).
Other highlights include workshops, master classes and a Patron’s brunch and jam with the All-Stars (for Patron ticket holders). Events take place at the Hilton Wilmington Riverside (301 N. Water Street, Wilmington). Admission charge. For N.C. Jazz Festival tickets and details, call 910-793-1111 or visit www.ncjazzfestival.com. Tickets can also be purchased at Audio Lab, 5732 Oleander Dr., Wilmington.