The 4th Annual Hillsborough Jazz Festival proudly honors the continuing legacy of world-renowned singer, songwriter and civil rights activist Nina Simone.


Saturday September 21, 2013 12:00 to 6:00 pm


Rain Date: Sunday, September 22, 2013 12:00 to 6:00 pm


Tickets: $15 in advance, $20 at the gate

Purchase discounted advance tickets online here today!

Discounted Advance tickets are $15.00 and are available at the Hillsborough Arts Council, and Eno


Gallery during regular business hours Children 10 and under are free.

Rain Date is Sunday Sept 22 from 12 pm to 6 pm.  It will be posted here if the event date is changed to Sunday.


The Jazz 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.


12:00 - 12:45pm - Serena Wiley

1:00  - 1:45pm - Robert (Griffanzo) Griffin featuring Taz

2:00 - 2:24pm - Stacy Looman Jazz

3:00 - 3:45pm - Capital Transit

4:00 - 4:45pm - Jo

5:00 - 6:00pm - Yolanda info on bands below...


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



2013 Jazz Festival Performances:


12:00 - 12:45pm - Serena Wiley

Serena Wiley began playing the saxophone when she was only eight years old. Ms. Wiley earned a Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts degree at North Carolina Central University.  She studied under notable musicians Dr. Ira Wiggins (Director, saxophone), Branford Marsalis (Artist-in-Residence, saxophone), and Joey Calderazzo (Artist-in-Residence, piano),Ms. Wiley participated in Master Classes featuring national recording artists such as Rene Marie, Nnenna Freelon and Joey Coderazzo.Serena Wiley is an extraordinary musician with her own unique style... Although the tenor saxophone is her primary instrument, her talents go further.  Ms. Wiley is also blessed with a rich voice and writes poems and incorporates the poetry into her music, marrying the three elements for a unique eclectic sound blending jazz, spoken word and rhythm and blues. Ms Wiley says: I've been influenced by a variety of music from artists including Branford Marsalis, Michelle NdegeoCello, Micheal Bublé, Count Bassie and Sam Cooke. In addition Ms. Wiley currently hosts the popular “Afternoon Jazz with Serena” Monday through Friday on WNCU 90.7 FM.Don't come too late and miss this multi talented lead act for the Jazz Festival!1:00  - 1:45pm - Robert (Griffanzo) Griffin featuring Taz Halloween 

“In Spare Music, Griffanzo spins his Strange stories. Pianist and singer Robert Griffin aka Griffanzo is a lyricist in the mode of Mose Allison, Dr. John, and Tom Waits, meaning that his musical stories are full of irony, social and political commentary and bizarre fun. ...the pianist’s solos run on the spare, barebones bebop side except when he admits in more romantic moonlight. Codrington offers several bebopish solos, each a gem of phrasing, poise and emotional lure. ”Owen Cordle - News and Observer


2:00 - 2:24pm - Stacy Looman Jazz Trio

 “For me, the essence of Jazz is the interplay between musicians, the spontaneity, and the way great players work together and inspire each other. I wanted to create a unique mood for each tune and encourage the soloists to stretch out”.   - Stacy Looman"Ms. Looman is that rare talent that can sing adroitly in numerous musical genres. Her vocals burst forth with energy and a spicy edge that reflect her rhythm & blues roots." Malcolm G. Moore, Jr.Piedmont Jazz Alliance


3:00 - 3:45pm - Capital Transit



Capital Transit is an energetic, four-part vocal jazz ensemble with musical stylings reminiscent of  the New York group “Manhattan Transfer,”  they also swing with a mix of blues, pop, and Doo-Wop. The four part harmonies are accompinied by flute, sax, guitar, bass, and hand percussion. Tim Smith plays Sax, keyboard, flute, and vocals. Tim has a bachelors in Jazz Sax Performance from Oberlin Conservatory. Ben Palmer plays upright and electric bass, guitar, blues harp, and bass vocals. He’s been playing bass and guitar for 30 years. Lola Youngman has been singing professionally for over 10 years.Laura Ridgeway has been a professional vocalist for over 20 years.Dave Youngman plays piano, sax, guitar, and clarinet with Capital Transit. Dave grew up in New York City and attended the prestigious “School of Music and Art” in Manhattan.


4:00 - 4:45pm -  Jo Gore

Gospel music has produced some of the music worlds greatest musical talents. Such is the case with Jo Gore, who spent a good portion of her childhood singing at Spring Hill Baptist, in Columbus County, NC. Jo’s father, A.K. Gore was the church pianist, and the two would play and sing throughout the region. Speaking of those days, Jo said  “Spring Hill Baptist was a typical southern black church... There was plenty of soul, field hollerin, spirituals, call-and-response…people sung and played by ear... No one fell asleep! ” Ms. Gore has come a long way from Spring Hill Baptist, opening for acts such as Buddy Guy, Tommy Emmanuel and Al Green. However, she has never strayed from her soulful gospel roots. Jo developed a style that borrows from early gospel and charismatic quartet singers like Rosetta Tharpe, James Cleveland, Joe Ligon, and Harvey Watkins Jr. Her vibrato, improvisation, and interpretation of melody is reminiscent of the great vocal jazz and gospel stylists of the 50’s and 60’s. Jo puts it this way:   “It’s no secret that I have tried to pattern myself after Sarah Vaughan. She had such an amazing vocal rangeJ and beautiful vibrato."


Growing up worlds apart in New York and North Carolina, (Jo in NC and Bo in NY) lead vocalist Jo Gore and acoustic guitarist  Bo Lankenau found a common musical ground in the Jazz, blues, and soul of the 50's and the 60's. Their unique style is a soulful mix of new and old that ranges from slow melancholy musings to upbeat dance numbers. Lankenaus' accomplished acoustic guitar is the foil for Gore who maintains a restrained soulfulness. Gore can whisper a soft melody then kick off her shoes and strut across the stage to belt out a powerful hard driving rockin' tune that gets the crowd up on their feet. This is a show that you have to experience in person.


5:00 - 6:00pm - Yolanda Rabun

Singing soulfully with power and a natural story-telling instinct, Yolanda Rabun stuns and transforms audiences because Yolanda sings with probing intelligence and passion. Her vocal flexibility and range earn high marks for taste, inventiveness and power. Phrasing is always sophisticated, and she is not afraid of taking risks. Yolanda handles all styles of music, although she favors jazz, across nearly three octaves with sensibilities that stem from years of vocal instrumental performing. 


"Yolanda's music combines several music styles together in an almost perfect balance, but without that polished niceness that would lead to the listener becoming bored. Rabun is proven and tested -- and good on top of it. "   SoulSonic - Germany