HARVIN COLUMN: Local partnership brings jazz back to Jenkins Institute
Our performing artists seem to have given everyone a week to get back into work/school mode before gearing up for the winter arts season, so there are not a lot of openings to announce.
One new event shows a lot of promise, although it is not happening until April.
Palmetto Primary Care Physicians have partnered with the Jenkins Institute for Children for what they are calling the Roots of Jazz Music Festival.
Now if you are from off, you may not know that the Jenkins Institute has a long history with the Holy City and was home to the famous Jenkins Orphanage Band.
The Jenkins Orphanage was founded in 1861 by a former slave, the Rev. Daniel Jenkins, who made it his life's mission to help and provide for African-American children in need.
Jenkins founded the orphanage with $100 and the intent to teach its students how to work hard and become self-sufficient.
In order to make money, the orphanage took in donations of musical instruments. Not being a musician, Jenkins hired two local Charleston musicians, P.M. “Hatsie” Logan and Francis Eugene Mikell, to tutor the boys.
The band's debut was on the streets of Charleston with the permission of the mayor, police chief and chamber of commerce.
The Jenkins Orphanage Band, wearing discarded Citadel uniforms, performed throughout the United States and even toured England raising money to support the orphanage. It played in inaugural parades of Presidents Theodore Roosevelt and William Taft and played before the queen of England. It appeared at the St. Louis Exposition in 1904 and the Anglo-American Exposition in 1914. As many as five bands were on tour during the 1920s. The band continued until the 1980s.
Former band members went on to make music alongside jazz greats including Duke Ellington, Count Basie and Dizzy Gillespie.
So this festival is a way of reuniting the love of jazz with some of its deepest roots in our town. The festival will be 10 a.m.-7 p.m. April 13 at 3923 Azalea Drive in North Charleston, the current home of the institute.
The festival will feature the sounds of local jazz artists; musicians from South Carolina middle and high school jazz bands; and tastings from Charleston restaurants.
General admission tickets can be purchased in advance for $8 or at the gate for $10. All proceeds raised from this event will be donated to the Jenkins Institute.
“It is important to bring the joy of jazz back to not only the youth, but to the Charleston community,” says Johanna Carrington, director of the Jenkins Institute. “Our presence and music are part of the living history that is Charleston. We would like to share that with the world.”
More importantly, the money raised will help remodel and expand the institute to offer more space for children and other individuals in the community who need assistance or a place to live.
If you want to be a part of the festival or want to volunteer, call Halie Tumbleston at 735-5344. This is sure to be an event to remember.
House concert tickets
Quiet offerings that don't need a lot of publicity are the house concerts by Chamber Music Charleston. While there are none available this week, there are tickets available for the Jan. 14 concert at the Palmer Home, 5 East Battery.
These are intimate concerts held in some of our historic mansions. Many of them originally had drawing rooms that were designed for their musical acoustics because there were often such small gatherings for dinners and parties.
The concert at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 14 will feature the Mozart String Quartet “The Hunt” and the Smetana String Quartet “From My Life.”
Tickets are $35. To order, call 763-4941.
Film fest submissions
Submissions are open for the fourth annual Charleston Film Festival to take place at the Terrace Theater on March 7-11 on James Island.
Filmmakers from South Carolina, North Carolina, and Georgia are encouraged to submit short and feature-length films. There is no submission fee.
There are prizes of $2,500 for the best regional films. The Grand Prize includes a one week exhibition of the film at the Terrace Theater. Works must have been produced in the past 18 months and are allowed to have been shown at other events and festivals. The deadline is Feb. 1.
Send inquiries to Paul Brown or Nicholai Burton at the 4th Annual Charleston Film Festival, c/o The Terrace Theater, 1956-D Maybank Highway, Charleston, SC 29412, or call 404-669-6243.
Reach Stephanie Harvin at firstname.lastname@example.org or 937-5557.