Hillsborough Jazz Festival 2012


Celebrating Thelonius Monk

September 15 from 11am to 6 pm


The festival will take place outdoors at a very special venue...General admission is just $20 at the door, with lawn seating. Parking is free!. Festival attendees are asked not to bring recording devices, animals, tents, grills, coolers, or alcohol.


Delicious food and drink will be available at the festival. There will also be elegant white and rich red wine available. In addition we will be serving the award winning craft beers from North Coast Brewing including their very special 'Brother Thelonius Ale' check out the food and beverage offerings here


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.To purchase advance tickets on line click hereRain Date is Sunday Sept 16th from 1pm to 6 pm. It will be posted here if the event date is changed to Sunday.

As per the Fire Marshall, This is a non- smoking event. Smoking will only be allowed in one designated smoking area. Thank you.


  •  11:00am - 12:00     Capital Transit

  •  12:15pm-1:15pm    James Saxmo Gates

  •  1:30pm-2:30pm      Alamance Jazz Band

  •  2:45pm-3:45pm      Lenny Marcus & The Big Easy

  •  4:00pm-5:00pm      Freeport

  •  5:15pm-6:15pm      M4B



Capital Transit

Capital Transit is an energetic, four-part vocal jazz ensemble with musical accompaniment. Many songs are reflective of the New York group “Manhattan Transfer,” and the group can branch out into blues, swing, and Doo-Wop. What makes this group SO unique and showcases each member's talents is that, in addition to singing four-part harmony, the members accompany each other with flute, sax, guitar, bass, and hand percussion. This Triangle-based seasoned group of vocal musicians includes Laura Ridgeway (soprano), Lola Youngman (alto), Tim Smith (tenor) and Ben Palmer (bass). Dave Youngman tickles the ivories and plays multiple instruments as well. Collectively, this group represents 125 combined years of performing jazz!! Capital Transit performs at festivals, restaurants, parties, dances, and special events – and is sure to make your event special and entertaining.


James Saxsmo Gates

A graduate of Berklee College of Music Saxsmo is one of the young lions of Jazz. Having played with Dizzy Gillispie, Art Blakey, Larry Carlton, Fred Wesley, Robert Flack, and his own group of 804 JAZZ Allstars, Saxsmo is the real deal. James left the music department at Virginia State University to spread his wings in Boston at Berklee. While there he joined the young giants of Jazz. Just the mention of his name brings a smile to the faces of Terri Lynn Carrington, Lynne Fidmont, Walter Beasley, Alex Bugnon, Cyrus Chestnut, Billy Kilson, Brandon Marsalis, Delfeayo Marsalis, Jeff Watts, Shelia Ford, Marvin Smitty Smith, Wallace Roney, Mako Ozone, Ron Savage, Omar Hakim, Lala Hathaway, Carl Jenkins, Greg Osby, Kevin Eubanks, Robin Eubanks, Wil Calhoun, Donald Harrison, and many many others. Poised to make a move James has partnered with 804 JAZZ and Bill McGee to take his career to the next level. In his home town of Richmond, Virginia SAXSMO is known as one of the hottest jazz men to pick up a sax. Following in his father's footsteps SAXSMO has made a name for himself as an energetic saxophonist capable of playing all styles from bop to the smoothest progressive jazz


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.The members of the Alamance Jazz Band come from a variety of occupational fields which include banking, real estate, education, construction, computer science, music, sales, food service, business, management, and health care. Often, area high school and college students become members. Six members have been with the band since its founding.The band’s repertoire consists of swing era hits of the 1930s and 40s, jazz standards, contemporary arrangements and compositions for big bands, and even a few selections of beach music and rock.


Lenny Marcus & The Big Easy

Lenny Marcus hails from Wash, DC, but he worked for many years in New Orleans, studying and performing with legends such as Ray Bryant, Ellis Marsalis, Alvin Batiste, and recording with David “Fathead” Newman, Charlie Byrd, Frank Foster, Sonny Fortune, Brian Lynch, Jane Powell and others. His band is a well schooled jazz group. “Their jazz is infectious!,” says Jazz Times magazine.Lenny has recorded 18 CDs to date, performed in two international jazz festivals, and has had his music featured on the National Weather Channel (many songs over the last several years), NPR’s ALL that Jazz and ALL Songs Considered. Two of his songs were finalists in the ISC international song writer’s competition.Lenny’s music goes from modern high energy to a more contemplative, meditative approach.Lenny is a highly trained jazz pianist who also plays flute and adds vocals. His compositions are refreshing and uplifting, and he has been compared to Vince Guaraldi, Oscar Peterson, Keith Jarrett, McCoy Tyner, Mose Allison-type vocal style, Ray Bryant, and many others. His original melodies and harmonic counterpoints also provide a high potential for film/TV soundtracks.



Bassist Scott Marvill, the founding member of Freeport, is originally from Philadelphia, PA. In his twenties, he found himself attending Combs College of Music, playing gigs, teaching guitar and bass, traveling and being a session man mainly at Ridge Sound Studiosin Philly. He worked with numerous acts such as The Temptations, Four Tops, Grover Washington Jr, Leslie Gore, The Dovells, and most of the touring oldies acts in the 1980s. With a friend he startedFreeport in 1981 and found themselves opening for Tower Of Power, The Temptations, Special EFX and other national acts. Freeport  continues today.


Steve Thornton, a well known musician in the North Carolina music scene joined Freeport in April 2007. He found woodwinds at a very early age. He plays just about every other instrument known to man. These days he is focused on the sax but do not be surprised if he picks up a guitar, a bass, or plays some keyboards. Name a style of music and he has performed it. Gospel, Jazz, R&B, Classical, Reggae. This experience has bled into his playing creating an exploration of melodies and solos not found in other musicians. A very soulful, appropriate, inquisitive, and smooth approach to performing.


Jo Daniels is no stranger to the entertainment world via TV, radio, and performing many styles of music. From Cincinnati, Ohio Jo came to North Carolina at a young age. He finished a B.S. in Music Education and more recently a Masters in Educational. He is a former Professor of Commercial Music classes and online music classes at Winston Salem State University. He was the Conductor/Arranger for the original National Black Theatre in 1984 with Larry Hamlin.He found himself living and touring in France, Belgium and Africa . Additionally he released three CDs on the JWP International label. His works are publishes through Jo-Wee Publishing and ASCAP.


Tony Testa Hailing from Niagara Falls, NY, Tony learned to play the drums/percussion at age 5! He was schooled through many forms of study from some of the greatest instructors in the Up-State New York Jazz Communit. Tony continues to spur his musical growth through Study, performance and studio work.His musical path has taken him from New York City, to Seattle, to Texas, and now settled in central North Carolina. 



M4B prides itself on the ability to write and record jazz tunes that are assessable and enjoyable to everyone. Exploring the symbiotic nature between jazz and funk, their neo-jazz sound is more than meets the eye & ear.


The players in this band are amazingly diverse, however one thing holds them together; they are all crossover artists. For a project such as this it was necessary to find musicians with the ability to play both jazz and funk at an exceptionally high level. Top shelf musicians are difficult enough to find, but with the ability to play both genres is next to impossible. The formula was convoluted, but ingenious. First, a drummer who could play funk on the bottom and jazz on the top. Second, a straight ahead pianist who could play analogs synths like a seventies keyboardist. Third, a guitarist who could funk with his eyes closed, but used jazz harmonics. Fourth, a fretless bass player who loved straight-ahead, but was a closet funk-a-teer. And last but not least, a saxophone player who could bop, bang, and use multi-phonics as a rhythmic device. The impossible was accomplished in 2010 with musicians ranging up and down the east coast from New York, New York, the Carolina coast, down to Miami, Florida.The M4B project is unique in that all the players agree that to be successful you must allow an audience to access your music. Instead of playing over their collective heads, there should be something in each song that every individual could enjoy personally, without suffering the quality of the music. Music is a very real relationship between the musicians and the listener, one to be respected, and each party in turn teaches the other something. It is this very spirit that drives M4B to write and perform songs that allows this access and what will ultimately make them broadly popular among listeners and fans.