May 15, 2004 – There'll be music by Stan Joines and the Central High School Jazz Combo for Friday's Sunset Jazz in Frederiksted concert plus a big temporary change that's preliminary to a bigger permanent change to come.
Beginning with this concert and for nobody knows how many others to come, there's a different venue. Instead of Veterans Park on the Frederiksted waterfront, the events will be held at Fort Frederik Beach Park. That's because the Frederiksted Revitalization Project has commenced, and Phase 1 of the work includes Veterans Park.
The Frederiksted Economic Development Association, which presents the concerts, "felt that this venue will allow us to maintain the ambiance associated with Sunset Jazz: waterfront location, incredible view, breathtaking sunset, open lawn area to allow for continued use of blankets, beach chairs, etc.," a release stated.
The beach park will also "provide a wonderful location for people to bring their families," it said, with plenty of safe parking and easy access. FEDA will continue to operate a cash bar, and Hispanos Unidos will have the customary food sales. The time's the same, too: 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
But back to the artists…
Joines, who plays trumpet, was born in Columbus, Ga. When he was a high school student in Macon, Ga., teachers introduced him to jazz — via recordings, being as how Macon "isn't exactly a jazz mecca," he muses. He cites horn men Freddie Hubbard, Doc Severinsen and Miles Davis as early influences.
He graduated from Mercer University in Macon and got some hands-on experience in the city sitting in at jam sessions with members of the Almond Brothers band, playing "'Green Dolphin Street' and straight-ahead tunes like that." He did graduate work at the University of Michigan and over the years has performed as a featured guest with numerous artists.
Joines has taught in the Central High School Music Department for 13 years, epitomizing the idea that music education should combine instruction with hands-on opportunity to perform. The CHS Jazz Combo nowadays plays about 80 performances a year including concerts, club dates, charity events, conventions, private parties and weddings.
This school year, the combo has backed Nestor Torres for his youth concert and served as house band for the after-concert jam sessions with Chiele Menuchi and "Smooth" Joe Johnson. For the Labor Day weekend last fall, the group performed at the Grand Hotel Jazz Festival on Mackinac Island, Michigan, with headliners including George Benson.
The combo currently consists of Michael Tyson on keyboards, Emilio Edward on trap drums, Andrew Brady on bass, Jose Rivera on alto saxophone, Wayne Christian on tenor sax and Rufino Morales on alto sax and bongos. For those who caught the group's Sunset Jazz concert in April of last year, please note: Five of these guys were with the group then, too. (Jose's the newcomer.)
In 1996, under Joines' direction, the CHS concert and jazz bands took part in the Spectrum Fiesta-Val band competition in Atlanta. Both groups received a Superior rating — and came in second in their respective categories overall. In 2000, Joines took both bands to a competition at Disney World in Orlando, where, again, each finished No. 2 in category.
In 2002, he took the jazz band back to Atlanta for the Spectrum Fiesta-Val competition. It came home with another Superior rating — and Grand Champion honors. That same year, the combo entered the V.I. Carnival Brass-O-Rama competition and finished second.
Bridget Cox-Dawson, who's handling publicity for the Sunset Jazz concerts, says FEDA got word from the Public Finance Authority "a couple of weeks ago of the need to move." She says her understanding is that Phase 1 of the revitalization project "will take a minimum of eight to 10 months to complete so we'll be at Fort Frederik Beach Park until then."
And then? "When it's finished, wow! The new park is going to be phenomenal!"
Looking ahead just one month, the next Sunset Jazz concert is set for June 18, with drummer David McKean and Friends doing the honors.
For more information about the concert series, send an e-mail to Sunset Jazz (which is a new address, should you need to make a change in your book), or call 277-7874.
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