The 2nd Annual Charleston Jazz Festival

Mike Lawson • News • January 13, 2016

Share This:

Charleston Jazz FestivalCHARLESTON, SC – January 13, 2015 – The second annual Charleston Jazz Festival is approaching and the final day will shift its focus to our community’s youth music programs. The annual festival brings together hundreds of jazz lovers from across South Carolina for three days of jazz performances by award-winning artists. The festival will take place January 22 – 24, 2016, with events at multiple locations throughout downtown Charleston, including the Gaillard Performance Hall, the Sottile Theatre, Woolfe Street Playhouse, and Barsa Restaurant. However, this year the final day of the festival is devoted to our community and youth music programs with performances by The School of The Arts Jazz Band and debuting The Charleston All-Star Youth Jazz Orchestra.

The Charleston School of the Arts Jazz Ensemble, also known as “SOA JAZZ”, is an elite band selected by audition from the music majors at the school. The SOA Jazz serves as musical ambassadors for the school and the Charleston area. The band has performed at the East Carolina University Jazz Festival, the Savannah Music Festival, the Spoleto Festival and the South Carolina Music Educators Convention. Members of the Jazz Ensemble have performed in the ETV special, “the Song of Pumpkin Brown”, based on the story of the Jenkins Orphanage Band.  Members of the band also were seen in the movie “The Notebook”, filmed in Charleston a few years ago.  The SC Band Directors’ Association has recognized more members of the SOA JAZZ as “All-State” Jazz musicians than any other school in the state.  Many of the SOA student musicians already play professionally in restaurants and other venues around the Charleston area.  The SOA JAZZ band is led by Basil Kerr, director of bands, and Ken Foberg, associate director and 3rd trombone in the Charleston Jazz Orchestra.

            Stephan Berry, a long time music educator who plays 2nd trumpet in the Charleston Jazz Orchestra, directs the newly created Charleston All-Star Youth Jazz Orchestra. The Charleston All-Star Youth Jazz Orchestra is unique because it is the only youth jazz band to be comprised of high school students from a wide range of area schools including Wando High School, School of The Arts, Goose Creek High School, Cane Bay High School, Stall High School, and Stratford High School. His or her high school band director referred each student.

“I feel like I’m returning to my roots working with high school players. After 17 years of retirement, having this opportunity to work with high school musicians in a jazz band setting has been great fun,” said Stephan Berry, Director of The Charleston All-Star Youth Jazz Orchestra.  “The students seem excited, as do their directors and private teachers. We hope the audience enjoys the concert as much as we enjoy performing it.”

            The Family Day Concert will begin with a performance by four of Charleston’s leading music educators who perform in the Jasmine Saxophone Quartet. This exciting new group brings all elements of a jazz performance into an ensemble consisting entirely of saxophones and teachers. It features Robert Lewis, director of jazz studies at the College of Charleston and lead alto in the Charleston Jazz Orchestra, Mark Sterbank, professor of saxophone at Charleston Southern University and lead tenor in the Charleston Jazz Orchestra, Dan O’Reilly, professor of saxophone and jazz studies at Coastal Carolina University, and Simon Harding, private instructor. The Quartet plays their own arrangements of jazz standards and original compositions, with fresh takes on familiar material interspersed with inspired improvisation.

            All three concerts are part of the final day of the festival, Family Day, Sunday, January 24 at the Sottile Theatre beginning at 3:00pm. Admission is FREE but a General Admission Ticket is required. The schedule of performances are;

Jasmine Saxophone Quartet                                3:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Charleston All-Star Youth Jazz Orchestra            3:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Charleston School of the Arts Jazz Band             4:15 p.m. – 5:15 p.m.

Tickets are available now at the The full festival schedule is as follows:

Official 2016 Charleston Jazz Festival Schedule

Friday, January 22, 2016

Woolfe Street Playhouse, 34 Woolfe Street, Charleston, SC 29403


Double Bill: $15

Jon Thornton Quartet (12:00 p.m.)

Rad Western (1:15 p.m.)


Triple Bill: $35

Frank Duvall Quartet (5:30 p.m.)

Lowcountry Legends Jazz Band (6:45 p.m.)

Ladies of Jazz (8:00 p.m.)


Late Night Jam Session at Barsa (10:00 p.m.)

Led by the Kevin Patton Quartet

Free Admission. All Jazz Artists Are Welcome


Saturday, January 23, 2016

Gaillard Performance Hall, 95 Calhoun Street, Charleston, SC 29401

Double Bill: $35 – $80

2-Time Grammy Award Winner Diane Schuur with the Charleston Jazz Orchestra (7:30 p.m.)

10-Time Grammy Award Winner Arturo Sandoval (9:00 p.m.)

Late Night Jam Session at Barsa (10:30 p.m.)

Led by the Gino Castillo Quartet

Free Admission. All Jazz Artists Are Welcome


Sunday, January 24, 2016

Sottile Theatre, 44 George Street, Charleston, SC 29401


Free Admission

Jasmine Saxophone Quartet (3:00 p.m.)

Charleston All-Star Youth Jazz Orchestra (3:30 pm.)

Charleston Schools of the Arts Jazz Ensemble (4:15 p.m.)

The Latest News and Gear in Your Inbox - Sign Up Today!