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Quentin Baxter takes successful jazz series concept to Tryon, NC

Quentin Baxter

Quentin Baxter is a drummer, producer, presenter, composer, arranger and teacher. Reese Moore Photography/Provided

If you’ve got a good thing going, replicate it.

That’s what drummer Quentin Baxter is doing with the jazz series he has put together on Kiawah Island.

He brings top-drawer musicians to town who perform at Turtle Point Clubhouse for a full ballroom of appreciative listeners.

Now he’s implementing the idea, and adding an educational component to it, at the Tryon Fine Arts Center in North Carolina, where he will introduce audiences to some of Charleston’s best jazz players. The venue is about a 45-minute drive from Greenville or Spartanburg.

The first of three concerts in Tryon, featuring the Quentin Baxter Quintet, is set for 5 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 16. The quintet consists of Baxter on drums and percussion, Charlton Singleton on trumpet, Mark Sterbank on tenor saxophone, Demetrius Doctor on piano and Rodney Jordan on bass.

Baxter and Singleton also are members of the Grammy Award-winning band Ranky Tanky.

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The Jeremy Wolf Quartet will play at 5 p.m. May 3, and the Mark Sterbank Group will take the stage at 5 p.m. Sept. 13.

General admission tickets are $25 each; students pay $15. A three-show ticket package is available for $60. Go to tryonarts.org, or call 828-859-8322.

All three family-friendly events include a concert talk at 4 p.m. at which musicians will discuss their roles in the band, their instruments and the intricate musical dynamic that jazz demands. They will take questions from the audience. Baxter said he hopes the programs provide patrons, especially students, a chance to learn more about jazz.

The Tryon Fine Arts Center is a nonprofit that manages a 315-seat performance venue and a 150-seat amphitheater, as well as education outreach programs.

Baxter's Kiawah series continues at 5 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 23, with a concert by vocalist Kate McGarry whose trio, featuring Keith Ganz and Gary Versace, was nominated for a 2019 Grammy. The final concert in the series, set for 5 p.m. Sunday, March 15, features Brazilian guitarist and singer Chico Pinheiro, joined by flutest David Heywood, pianist Demetrius Doctor, bassist Kevin Hamilton and Baxter on drums.

General admission tickets are $25 and available at baxtermusic.com or by calling 843-766-8814.

Contact Adam Parker at aparker@postandcourier.com or 843-937-5902.

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