Talk, student program kick off Jazz Artists outreach initiatives

Photo provided Etienne Charles is guest director of the Charleston Jazz Orchestra this Saturday.

Jazz Artists of Charleston and Charleston Jazz Orchestra are launching two community outreach programs this week in conjunction with its Latin Night concert Saturday at the Charleston Music Hall.

From 4-7 p.m. today, Jazz Artists offers the first installment of its JAC(K) Talk series at Barsa Tapas and Lounge at 630 King St.

The conversation, which is free and open to the public, is sponsored by the Gullah Roots Project and begins at 5 p.m.

The Post and Courier’s Adam Parker will moderate a panel discussion about the intersection of African, Caribbean and Lowcountry musical styles and sounds, and the contributions of Gullah culture to the history of jazz.

The panel features special guest Etienne Charles, a Trinidadian-born percussionist, trumpet player, composer and arranger, who is guest director for the Jazz Orchestra’s Latin Night concert.

Also part of the panel: Charleston Jazz Orchestra director and trumpet player Charlton Singleton, drummer Quentin Baxter, local writer Herb Frazier and Al Fraser, co-author of “To Be or Not to Bop: Memoirs of Dizzy Gillespie.”

On Friday, the Charleston Jazz Orchestra will host more than 300 public school students at the Charleston Music Hall for the launch of SWING OUT!, a new youth outreach program.

Students will gather at 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m. for a robust sampling of the big band sound, and to learn about Charleston’s contributions to jazz.

Following the program, students will have an opportunity to meet and engage with members of the big band over lunch provided by Charleston Grille. Students will receive CDs and signed posters from Charleston Jazz Orchestra musicians.

SWING OUT! is sponsored by Toyota of Charleston, Wells Fargo, Charleston Place Hotel and the Gullah Roots Project.

For more information, visit www.thejac.org, call 641-0011 or visit the Charleston Jazz House, 185 St. Philip St., Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.