Wilmington, NC – On Thursday, one of the largest traditional jazz festivals in the Southeast kicks off in Wilmington, North Carolina as some of the world’s greatest musicians descend on the Hilton Riverside Ballroom for the 33rd Annual North Carolina Jazz Fest.
The three day event will include a world-renowned all-star lineup including such greats as Bucky Pizzarelli, Jonathan Russell, Frank Bongiorno, Rossano Sportiello, David Boeddinghaus, Ed Polcer, and more.
Began in 1980 by Dr. Harry VanVelsor, a local Wilmington dermatologist and jazz lover, the North Carolina Jazz Fest stage has seen musicians from as far away as Australia, Israel, Finland and Italy. In years past the event has attracted such jazz greats as Art Hodes, Milt Hinton, Kenny Davern, Keter Betts, Bobby Rosengarden, Tony DiNicola, and Johnny Frigo.
In 2006, Sandy Evans, former President of the Cape Fear Jazz Society, took over as director of the North Carolina Jazz Fest and has been working hard to broaden its audience and expand its base from the traditional big band and Dixieland jazz that remain at the festivals roots.
“You get three different styles of jazz Thursday night,” Evans says of this year’s lineup. “This year we will open with violin and guitar, then go to Frank Bongiorno’s tribute to Charlie Parker with strings. Then, taking a jump to a completely different style, we will have—during the second part of the evening—Banu Gibson and her hot jazz. This is real New Orleans-style.”
Not to leave out the lovers of more traditional jazz, Friday and Saturday nights will feature a more classic sound.
“It’s amazing, these musicians play in six or seven sets each night, each set has a different leader, who lets it be known what he wants them to play, and they just do it, no sheet music,” said Evans. “They all just know the music.”
The Wilmington Hilton Riverside is offering special rates for festival attendees of $116 per night. To receive the special rate, contact the hotel directly by calling (910) 763-5900 and tell them you are attending the festival.
Dates: Thursday, February 7, 2013 thru Sunday, February, 9, 2013
Location: 301 N. Water Street * Wilmington, NC 28401
Price: General Admission Tickets: Thursday – $35 * Friday & Saturday – $50 (each night)
Patron Tickets: Friday & Saturday – $175 * Thursday, Friday & Saturday – $200
Discounts available for Military and Students