Pinehurst, ACMC Unveil Marquee for Jazz Show
BY JANEEN DRISCOLL
Special to The Pilot
The New York Times says they're "as good as it gets in any entertainment medium."
John Pizzarelli and special guest star vocalist, Jessica Molaskey, will show a Pinehurst Valentine's crowd just how strong they are as headliners to the annual Heart 'n Soul of Jazz weekend, Feb. 13-14.
With a talent for classic jazz guitar, an American songbook in hand and a penchant toward redefining today's cabaret scene, both Pizzarelli and Molaskey have wowed audiences internationally with a focus on well-known favorites.
They join the Marcus Belgrave Jazz Experience for two solid nights of entertainment in the cool jazz club scene of Pinehurst Resort's Cardinal Ballroom, for the 24th anniversary celebration benefiting the Arts Council of Moore County. Tickets are now on sale for $65 per show, $110 for both shows at the Pinehurst Resort Services Desk. Access to a post-concert dessert and Irish coffee/wine reception to meet the artists is included in the ticket price.
Pizzarelli is a jazz guitarist, vocalist and bandleader known for his dedication to well-known classics, takes the stage for Friday's 8 p.m. concert. Joined on the stage by Molaskey, Pizzarelli's line-up is sure to please with tributes to Sinatra, Mercer, Cole -- and Broadway.
The son of guitar legend Bucky Pizzarelli, his early influencers include some of jazz legends, like Django Reinhardt and Les Paul. A regular radio personality and bandleader for RCA among others, he's appeared on "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno," "The Late Show with David Letterman," and the "CBS Early Show" with performances that have delighted crowds of all ages.
His clean approach provides the perfect foil to the Marcus Belgrave Jazz Experience for Saturday evening's performance. Detroit's legendary jazz trumpeter, Belgrave is rooted in the heart of jazz, with a penchant towards masters Louis Armstrong and Ray Charles, among others. Add composer, arranger, educator, recording artist and producer to his resume, and guests will clearly see his lifelong passion for the genre through time.
The Marcus Belgrave Jazz Experience includes a top lineup of eight performers including saxophonist Charlie Gabriel and performing artist Joan Bow-Belgrave, both of whom have their starts in soul, jazz and blues.
"These benefit concerts have a long-standing reputation of drawing tomorrow's superstars in jazz talent to the Sandhills," says Arts Council Director Chris Dunn. "With Pizzarelli and Belgrave in 2009, we've taken this annual event to new levels, as they have already established their prominence in the entertainment world. We anticipate tickets will go fast."
Tickets can be purchased in person or via phone at the Pinehurst Resort Services Desk at (910) 235-8415). A special early dinner seating at Pinehurst's Carolina Dining Room will be available only to jazz ticketholders at a special $35 rate.
Doors open each night at 7 p.m. for the 8 p.m. concert; cabaret-style seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. Cocktail attire/black tie optional is expected dress for arts patrons. A grand door prize will be given each night at intermission.
The Heart 'n' Soul of Jazz weekend has included such talent as Ellis Marsalis, Shirley Horne, Milt Jackson, Corky Hale, Marian McPartland, Karrin Allyson and Toots Thielemans, among others since its beginnings in 1984. Major sponsors for this year's event include American Airlines, Pinehurst Resort, and Progress Energy. Door prize and reception sponsors include Lyne's Furniture Gallery, Wachovia and First Bank.
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