The Morgantown Jazz Orchestra (MJO) and the West Virginia Jazz Society (WVJS) are partnering to produce an evening of music, dining and dancing in Jazz at Charles Pointe in the Bridgeport Conference Center (BCC) on Saturday, June 17, the second night of WVJS’s Summer Jazz Weekend. The first night is the Uptown Jazz Stroll in Clarksburg on Friday, June 16.
Robert Redd, Duke Ellington Orchestra pianist, and big band vocalist, Sue Matthews, are scheduled to appear as guests with the 16-member MJO ensemble, according to Neil King, the MJO lead trumpet who co-founded the band with drummer, Mark Cappellini. King and Cappellini are retired Monongalia County music teachers and active “session players” in the regional jazz scene.
“Working with the (West Virginia Jazz Society) helps us bring more to the stage,” explained King. “Sue Matthews is a classic chanteuse and an acclaimed interpreter of popular vocal jazz,” said King. “Robert Redd has a remarkable body of work that includes his time as pianist for the Ellington Orchestra and as a member of the legendary Charlie Byrd Trio. This will be a remarkable evening, one to remember.”
Redd and Matthews are seasoned jazz artists out of the Washington, DC jazz scene, and their presence on stage will add an authentic “big band feel” to the evening, added King.
Jazz At Charles Pointe is the iconic “pop up” jazz nightclub created inside the Bridgeport Conference Center for special jazz performances that feature dining and an urban-style décor. Frequently featured acts are nationally known jazz artists as well as players from throughout the north central West Virginia region and surrounding states.
The cuisine for the evening is themed “Big City Small Plates” designed by BCC staff and presented as a 16-Piece Culinary Ensemble offered in four dining stations. Among the bill of fare are Seared Ahi Tuna, Cornmeal Crusted Oysters and other “small plate entrees”, as well as selections including Baby Wedge Salad, desserts and antipasti.
A cash bar with artisan cocktails will also be available. A dance floor will be installed for the convenience of patrons who enjoy dancing and watching dancing.
MJO members are saxophone players, Rich Norwood, John Sullivan, Jared Simms, Phil Wyatt, and Mike Roberts; trombonists, Keith Jackson, Brian Plitnik, Dave Nuzum, and a player to be named; trumpet players, Neil King, John Christian, Tom Simpson, and Todd Wilson; and the rhythm section of pianist, Tom Harrison, with Mark Cappellini on drums and Greg Thurman on bass.
Music begins at 7:30pm. Doors open with dining available at 7pm. Tickets are $40 per person and include seating at 2-top and 4-top tables and the unlimited buffet. A special promotional rate for ticket holders has been arranged with the Wingate Hotel adjacent to and under the same roof as the music venue. There is free parking and free breakfast offered to hotel guests. For more information on the event and the West Virginia Jazz Society, visit
WVJazzSociety.com, or email to INFO@WVJazzSociety.com, or phone 304-517-9813. Major funding and support is provided for the Jazz At Charles Pointe performances by the Barbara B. Highland Fund for the Arts, the West Virginia Wine and Jazz Festival, Inc., and the Greater Bridgeport CVB. Media sponsorship is provided by WBOY Channel 12 and NCWV Media/The
Exponent Telegram. Event design and planning is by The Media Man LLC.
The West Virginia Jazz Society has received initial funding from the Dominion Foundation in support of the “Birth Of America’s Jazz Crossroads” program to be implemented July 1, 2017.
For information on how to participate in and receive funding for America’s Jazz Crossroads projects, send your questions, ideas and suggestions to: America’s Jazz Crossroads, 102 Second Street, Weston, WV, 26452.