By Tripp Liles
I often tell you folks that you need to get out and listen to the great music we have around us. One of my favorite places around is the incredible Velvet Note in Alpharetta. Normally they feature some of the best jazz in the metro area but in March they are mixing it up a bit with a performance by singer-songwriter Camille Rae on Mar.16.
Rae has a captivating voice with a dynamic range coupled with her insightful lyrics. She performs in a multitude of genres but country is her sweet spot. In 2015, she released her debut album I Need Me, which included her first single, “Shadows Dance Tonight,” to hit No.55 on Nashville’s Music Row Chart and received strong airplay across the United States and Canada. Her presence on the chart positioned Rae as an opening act for notables like The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, American Idol’s David Cook, Maddie and Tae, and more.
Rae’s influencers consist of a montage of confident, female powerhouses such as Bessie Smith, Trisha Yearwood, Kelly Clarkson, and fellow redhead Reba McEntire. All of whom continuously support a common muse: “The intimate feelings that someone thinks but never speaks aloud.”
On the last weekend of the month, jazz is once again the focus at The Velvet Note as The Eric Alexander Quartet performs on Mar. 30 and 31. Alexander hit the jazz scene in 1991 as he competed against Joshua Redman and Chris Potter in the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Saxophone Competition. Placing second, this launched him into the whirlwind life of a professional jazz musician. He played with organ trios on Chicago’s South Side, made his recording debut with Charles Earland, and cut his first album as a leader titled Straight Up in that same year. His band now consists of Joe Farnsworth on drums, Kevin Smith on bass, and Kevin Bales on piano. For show times and tickets to The Velvet Note visit their site at www.thevelvetnote.com.
One of the more unique music events in March is the Atlanta Jewish Music Festival. It returns for its ninth year with a wide array of artists performing all around Atlanta during a three-weekend period from Mar. 8 – 25. This is the largest Jewish music festival in the South and features world music, rock, hip-hop, jazz, and more. For more info on the festival with acts and venue times, visit atlantajmf.org.
Having a wife who has survived not only being married to me but breast cancer as well, I can tell you that post operative care and rehabilitation is critical. On Mar. 24 community-based nonprofit Turning Point Breast Cancer Rehabilitation will be having their 17th Annual Pink Affair fundraiser at the Grand Hyatt in Buckhead. The evening will include a seated dinner, live and silent auctions, a raffle, an open bar with wine and beer, and dancing to a variety of music from the festive live band “We Got the Beat.” Tickets are $150 and can be purchased directly at www.thepinkaffair.com. All goes to a great cause.
Turning Point’s mission is to improve the quality of life for breast cancer patients and survivors by providing, promoting, and advocating specialized and evidence-based rehabilitation. Funds raised will support Turning Point’s delivery of reduced-fee and complimentary services, community education, and healthcare provider education.
New York Times bestselling author Steve Berry, who is originally from Marietta, will appear at a Page from the Book Festival where he will present his newest book, The Bishop’s Pawn. A conversational interview will be conducted by Nadia Bilchik of CNN. Berry’s books have been translated into 40 languages with more than 22 million copies sold in 51 countries. atlantajcc.org/bookfestival.
I know it’s a little early, but spring fever is hitting and that means the Fourth Annual Roswell Azalea Festival is right around the corner. Events will take place throughout the month of April as organizers prepare to pay tribute to the beauty of Roswell during the springtime. We will have more on this in our next issue but to get an early preview of what’s coming visit www.roswellazaleafestival.com.
And I will end with some more music. Next month our cover article will be on spring and summer music events, but I have to mention that the concert calendar kicks off in April at the Verizon Amphitheatre with a performance by Jimmy Buffet and the Coral Reefer Band on Apr. 17. This promises to be a great show as Buffet is digging deep into his catalog performing some old demo and unreleased songs on his 2018 tour titled “I Don’t Know.” Nothing, and I mean nothing, says spring like Jimmy Buffet. Plus mentioning this gave us a great reason to put his picture in, which probably got your attention in the first place.