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Blow summer away with a jazzy finish

Doug Ellison Jazz Band to play at outdoor music festival

POSTED: September 1, 2011 12:30 a.m.

A local nonprofit has come up with a jazzy, farewell tribute for Labor Day weekend to celebrate the waning days of summer.

The Gainesville-Hall County Black History Society will be host to a jazz festival from 6-9 p.m. Monday at the Fair Street Neighborhood Center, 715 Fair St., Gainesville.

"This is the first time we've done an event like this," said Barbara Brooks, the group's vice chairwoman.

"We do our (annual, local black history calendar), but we haven't done a whole lot in the community as far as socializing. We've never done anything that we consider to be just for enjoyment, so we thought an event like this would be fun."

The outdoor festival will feature the Doug Ellison Jazz Band.

"Everyone is invited to bring their blankets and lawn chairs," Brooks said.

"If it rains, our backup plan is to move everything inside, but we hope the weather is nice."

Admission, which can be paid the day of the festival, is $10 per person. Barbecue and soft drinks will be on sale.

Although the history group is a nonprofit, Brooks says the festival isn't a fundraiser. It's just an opportunity for "peaceful enjoyment."

"We hope to sell enough tickets so that the festival pays for itself, but we're not looking to make money from it. Our goal is to bring the community together," Brooks said.

"We chose to have a jazz festival because jazz music has made such a great contribution to our history. Not just black history, but American history. It's such a rich and old music.

"People can sit down and relax. It's an opportunity to listen to really good music and be among friends. If the feedback is positive, we'd like to expand the program and make it an annual event."



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