>Eastern Carolina Jazz presents Vocalist Willie E. Atkinson and the Transitional Jazz Quartet

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The Flame Banquet Center and Eastern Carolina Jazz will continue their successful Sunday concert series in New Bern. This year’s first event is scheduled for Sunday, January 22nd and features vocalist Willie E. Atkinson with the Transitional Jazz Quartet. Local performer John Van Dyke will host the evening.

Jazz and Blues vocalist Willie E. Atkinson’s smooth delivery of rich baritone vocals has captured the hearts of audiences nationwide. He was raised in the rural region of Johnston County, NC, watching and listening to kinfolk add their musical voice to what would become known as the Piedmont Blues. Early on, his Grandmother taught him how to tell the story of a song without losing the beat. She said. “Just hold your head high, sing it like you mean it and pat your feet.” He remembers her advice every time he takes center stage and tells the story of how “A Nightingale Sang In Berkeley Square” or of a lonesome wanting heart “Round Midnight.” His distinctive vocal styling is captured on his first CD release “Willie E. Atkinson – Live In Oriental, NC”.

Willie and his wife Jacqueline B. Atkinson are owners and operators of WEJA Enterprises. WEJA’s primary mission is to promote jazz and blues through productions, performances and education. The educational component is a historical review of jazz and blues with an emphasis on North Carolina’s jazz and blues artists whose contributions helped shape America’s music cultural landscape.

Mr. Atkinson will be accompanied by The Transitional Jazz quartet, four extraordinary accomplished musicians in their own right, defined by their wealth of jazz experience, talent and ability to swing. Members of this swinging unit are David Fox, Pianist, Composer, Professor of Music Studies at Greensboro College, Chip Newton, Guitarist, Composer, Head of Guitar Studies, Elon College, Matt Kendrick, Double Bassist, Composer, instructor at Wake Forest University, and Glenn Pointe, Jazz Drummer, whose resume of jazz alumni include organist Jimmy Smith and pianist Hampton Hawes.

Chef Smoke’s Buffet and Beverage service will be available.
Sunday January 22nd, 2012
Doors open at 5pm – Music starting at 6pm
The Flame Banquet Center, 2301 Neuse Blvd New Bern, NC

General admission $15.00. Tickets are available at Bank of The Arts in Downtown New Bern and at New Bern Farmer’s Market – or you may call 252-649-0109 for advance tickets. Tickets will be available at the door but advance reservations are recommended

Submitted by: John Van Dyke, Eastern Carolina Jazz

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