The Second Annual Hillsborough Jazz Festival 2011


The exciting 2011 Hillsborough Jazz Festival will be September 17 from 11am to 6 pm


The festival will take place outdoors at a very special venue...The Historic Moorefields estate is an idyllic homestead on 84 beautiful acres just a few miles from Hillsborough, NC. Come and enjoy great jazz, the scenic vistas & cool shaded gardens of beautiful Moorefields...


General admission is just $20.00 at the door, with lawn seating. Parking is free. Festival attendees are asked not to bring recording devices, animals, tents, grills, coolers, or alcohol. As per the Fire Marshall, this is a non- smoking event. Smoking will only be allowed in one designated smoking area. Thank you.


Advance tickets are $15.00 and are  available at the Sportsplex  during regular business hours or at the Hillsborough Arts Council from 1-4pm Tuesday thru Saturday. Children 10 and under are free. Rain Date is Sunday Sept 18th from 1pm to 6 pm.  It will be posted here if the event date is changed to Sunday.

The Jazz Tones

The JazzTones sextet plays mainstream jazz in the styles of the 50's and 60's. Behind the sultry vocals of Alice Brower, the JazzTones cover tunes ranging from standards and swing tunes that make you want to dance, to ballads that touch the heart. Also including in their repertoire jazz-infused blues, latin and bebop, the JazzTones cover the spectrum of popular American jazz music that everyone knows and enjoys. Our members come from the greater North Carolina Triangle area.Our group includes:Alice Brower - Vocals, Keyboard, ViolinLuciano "Chano" Suarez - GuitarEric Hallman - Trumpet, Flugelhorn and CongasStan Levy - Tenor and Soprano SaxophonesBob Brower - BassKaan Uzun- Drums.


The Will McBride Group

A bold foray into the area between jazz, funk, rock, and pop is what The Will McBride Group has created since 2004. The live energy of this masterful trio was captured on their latest CD "Trifecta" Two tracks from Trifecta have received many plays on 100.7TheRiver, as well as WSHA in Raleigh.Will McBride (guitars, vocals), leader/founder/songwriter/composer of the WMG has over 30 years of performing experience. He toured with James Brown sax man, the late St. Claire Pinckney, and has shared the stage with international artists such as Sam Bryant (Kenny Wayne Shepherd), sax man David Sanchez, Nantucket, PKM, and Roger "Hurricane" Wilson.Jeff Hatley (bass, vocals), originally from Charlotte, is a veteran bassist who has performed with numerous bands in jazz, rock, pop, and funk genres. Jeff has also contributed to several stage and studio productions, including two complete CD projects with Will McBride, and is sought after as a fill-in artist in several large area churches. Jeff also has a classical background and has performed on cello in area orchestras. Jeff has been with the WMG since 2004.Eric Weaver (drums, vocals) is a graduate of the Berklee College of Music and studied with world renowned educator and drummer Gary Chaffee. Eric has performed with such national artists as Bette Midler and Saga as well as Raleigh favorites Mighty Lester, Shine, MPS Trio, Fusion Collective South, as well as founding Wannabeezer (Weezer Tribute), and 80s Glam band Headbanger. Eric's drumming creates a canvas of sound that shapes the soul of The WMG.You’ll be entertained by the remarkable skill, the groove in the music, variety and presentation from this trio of veteran musicians out of the Raleigh, NC area. The most consistent compliment heard at a WMG show is how amazingly full the sound of the band is with only three musicians. The Will McBride Group will “satisfy your cool side…and move your backside”.


Frankie Alexander

Frankie Alexander is often referred to as a musicians singer. Like an instrumentalist, she rarely performs a song the same way. Her understated style has been compared with such vocalists as Carmen McRae and Shirley Horn, two singers that Alexander is quick to claim as influences. A resident of Durham since the late seventies, Alexander has worked with and learned from some of the most talented and influential musicians in the area including Yusuf Salim and mentor, Bus Brown.


Alexander, a Concord, NC native, is a 1975 graduate from UNC-CH. In 1998, she received the first Linda A. Ironside award for the Arts from the Triangle Community Foundation, and is a contributing writer to the 2001 anthology, "Tenderheaded: A Comb-Bending Collection of Hair Stories." A recipient of a 2005-2006 Emerging Artists grant from the Durham Arts Council, Alexander just completed her first CD "Mad About the Words."Here's a new review:"Frankie Alexander is also a very good singer full of a conviction that recalls Sarah Vaughan or Abbey Lincoln. She caresses the words on “Moonlight In Vermont” and “Once I Loved” while exploding on “Taking A Chance” and “At Long Last Love.” Her singing isn’t technically polished but that does not matter because she makes an emotional connection to what she sings, creating performances that are haunting and affecting. Frankie Alexander seems to be one of those vocalists who can bring heart to whatever she sings." - Jerome Wilson in the May 2007 issue of Cadence Magazine


Sweet Dreams

Since 1984, Sweet Dreams Band has built a reputation that spans the Southeast. SWEET DREAMS is especially popular in North and South Carolina, Virginia, Tennessee and Georgia. They have played a diversity of events and venues. So professional is this band, that they are the contract players of choice for many recording artists playing live events in the area.Mainstream saxophonist, Courtney Pines, was shocked at the ease with which SWEET DREAMS was able to back his complex improvisations. Gerald Albright, a contemporary saxophonist; loved their funky and fun-loving support while rhythm and blues singer Jeffery Osborne demanded a group who could compliment his style. SWEET DREAMS met the demand with distinction.…And SWEET DREAMS brings this same top-level professionalism to every engagement; be it an intimate corporate cocktail/ dinner party or a large outdoor festival.Sweet Dreams FounderFred Mills –- keyboardist who is also a talented bassist and gives SWEET DREAMS solid support from his tenor vocals. It was Fred who founded SWEET DREAMS twenty years ago in Charlotte, North Carolina. The former keyboardist for cutting-edge vocalist, Betty Davis; Fred was also the lead vocalist for Atlantic Records recording group Chops. He is also a contributing songwriter to the soundtrack of the motion picture “White Girl” produced by Tony Brown.Fred MillsKeyboards and VocalsJames YourseKeyboardsLynn WoodsSaxophones, Keyboards and vocalsSWEET DREAMS: a band of soft jazz, moving ballads and funky dance grooves.SWEET DREAMS…THE BAND YOU’VE ALWAYS DREAMED OF…


Marcus Anderson

Anderson, a South Carolina native, is from a large musical family of seven siblings. Growing up, both of his parents sang regularly, but it was his father who introduced him to Jazz, which has become his passion. Aware of his natural talent, his parents nurtured his musicality and he began performing in church with his older brothers. He graduated from Dorman High School in Roebuck, SC and after graduation he continued his jazz studies at North Carolina Central University. There he was a member of the program’s world renowned Jazz Ensemble directed by Dr. Ira Wiggins. He studied with Branford Marsalis and Gospel Saxophonist, Donald Hayes for several years.His numerous accolades include All-State High School Jazz Ensemble for South Carolina three consecutive years, receiving the Chancellor’s Award three times, and having performed for Hilary Clinton and Jesse Jackson. He was a member of the HBCU All-Star Jazz Ensemble as 1st Tenor Sax for three consecutive years, and he is a proud member of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia Fraternity of America. He was recently nominated and won the North Carolina Gospel Announcers Guild 2011 Prestige Awards for Gospel Jazz Artist of the Year.


Alamance Jazz Band

The Alamance Jazz Band was organized in December, 1987 by area musicians who in their past had considerable experience playing in jazz groups. A member group of the Alamance County Arts Council, its purpose is to provide an organized program for those interested in learning, performing, and enjoying music of the big band idiom.The Alamance Jazz Band has given hundreds of performances since its founding: outdoor and indoor concerts, civic celebrations, dinner dances, convention banquets, fund raisers, wedding receptions, and other private and public engagements. Although the band usually performs in Alamance County, it also has performed in Charlotte, Greensboro, Chapel Hill, Carrboro, Winston-Salem, Durham, and Raleigh.


Marcus Mitchell

Marcus H Mitchell is not only a rising saxophone star but is also CEO and President of 24th Music, a division of MHM Entertainment Group based in Maryland. The youngest independent executive to be on the voting committee for the Grammy Awards he is about to release his latest CD, the excellent ‘R & R – Rest & Relaxation’. It follows on from his 2005 debut ‘Jumpin’ and is a classy eleven track collection of fresh urban jazz sounds that is epitomized by the tune ‘Just Groovin’. With a title that pretty much sums up what Mitchell does throughout the album it is replete with his own brand of edgy smooth jazz and, although rest and relaxation may not entirely be what Mitchell is all about, the smoky title track, the chilled out ‘Deep Concentration’ and finally ‘Summer Breeze’ all demonstrate that he knows mellow urban jazz. Not to be confused with the Isley Brothers song of the same name this latter track features excellent backing vocals from Yvette Thomas and is the perfect antidote to a stressful day.

When Mitchell ups the tempo for ‘Groove Lounge’ he finds a jazzy vibe that sits delightfully on the tight rhythmic foundation afforded by the production of M Anthony Hemmings’. He stays in jazzy mood for the always funky ‘Sharpshooter’ then welcomes back Hemmings to produce and plays keyboards on the tight and edgy ‘Makin Moves’. They collaborate again for rich sounding ‘Diamond In The Ruff’ and with Mitchell’s driving sax to the fore they together deliver one of the albums standout tracks.

Equally good is ‘When We First Met’. Featuring Blackbuddafly on vocals this smoky urban chiller is wonderfully indicative of the very best of the genre. In demand writer producer and sax player Darren Rahn contributes the catchy smooth jazz number ‘Saturday Night’. He also plays backing saxophones, Jeff Lorber gives an outstanding performance on both piano and Fender Rhodes and as the track builds to a raucous climax Mitchell blows up a storm on alto sax. Just as dazzling is his playing on the albums only cover, The Gap Band classic ‘Outstanding’. Funky in the extreme and with vocals from Tara Aldridge that are just perfect this is a welcome new outing for a much loved favorite from 1982.

With contemporary jazz currently enjoying a shift into urban territory ‘R & R – Rest & Relaxation’ is very much an album for its time and should ensure Marcus H Mitchell gets the exposure that his talent richly deserves.