Bring your coolers, lawn chairs and blankets for an afternoon of Jazz In The Park as Fayetteville native John Brown and his Grammy-nominated John Brown Orchestra perform at a free concert celebration at Festival Park on Sunday, Oct. 19, at 2 p.m. {mosimage}
    The Arts Council of Fayetteville/ Cumberland County, along with the City of Fayetteville, Draughon Brothers Incorporated and WFSS-91.9 FM, will join Brown to honor his mentor, Fayetteville’s own jazz legend Ray Codrington, on the weekend of his 74th birthday. A student jazz ensemble from Fayetteville State University will open the show at 2 p.m. and Brown’s full 19-piece orchestra will take the stage around 3:30 p.m.
    This performance brings Brown full-circle. In addition to mentoring, training and coaching him from childhood, Codrington is a regular member of the John Brown Orchestra.
    As a graduate of Howard University and with a career spanning nearly 50 years, Codrington remains in high demand among musicians in the southeastern United States. He has performed and recorded with Eddie Harris, the JFK Quintet, Larry Willis and Hugo Montinegro. His experience includes recording for the Godfather II soundtrack and has taken him to the famed Apollo Theater in New York.
    Brown is the director of the jazz program at Duke University and a graduate of the School of Music at The University of North Carolina at Greensboro and the School of Law at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He has performed all over the world with artists such as Elvin Jones, each member of the Marsalis family, Nnenna Freelon, Rosemary Clooney, Nicholas Payton and Mark Whitfield. He has performed regularly with the North Carolina Symphony since 1992 and his experience includes performances at venues such as Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center the Blue Note and the Hollywood Bowl.
    When John Brown’s musicians get together, they form an exciting mix of talent and brotherhood encompassing the past, present and future of jazz. The combination of the diverse backgrounds of each band member, and the fire they bring to the music, makes this group the perfect setting for dynamic and creative ideas to flourish. The group performs a wide range of jazz styles including the timeless classics of the Great American Songbook, original versions and new arrangements of traditional jazz standards, modern jazz pieces and original compositions of each band member.
    The parking lot adjacent to Festival Park Plaza Building on Ray Avenue will be reserved for handicapped and special needs drivers. Coolers and lawn chairs will be allowed and attendees are encouraged to bring drinks and snacks. Please remember that dogs or domesticated animals are not allowed in Festival Park.
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