The annual award-winning Ocean City Jazz Festival has music to whet the appetite and a destination that seals the deal.
NORTH TOPSAIL BEACH, NC, May 10, 2019 − History, superb music and the beach come
together as the award-winning Ocean City Jazz Festival marks its 10th anniversary with
a bang. The slogan of the festival is “Jazz with a Higher Purpose” and the gala weekend
is slated for July 4-7, 2019.
Hosted by the nonprofit Ocean City Beach Citizens Council, the festival, boasts an
incredible lineup of talent that caters to both jazz purists and lovers of contemporary
jazz. This year’s artists include Jazmin Ghent, the John Brown Little Big Band, the Sax
Pack (featuring Jeff Kashiwa, Steve Cole and Marcus Anderson), Selina Albright, the
Ocean City All-Star Band (featuring Cyrus Chestnut, Mark Whitfield, Derrick Gardner
and John Brown), Gail Jhonson, Adam Hawley (with special guest Kat Hawley featuring
Marcus Anderson) and the John Brown Quintet featuring Alvin Atkinson.
The festival kicks off with a beer and wine tasting on July 4, from 5-7 p.m. followed by a
special evening of music featuring guitarist John Dillard. On July 5, 2019, Secretary of
the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resource, Susi Hamilton will
greet attendees as the festival celebrates the Come Hear NC music initiative.
This year, the festival has added a brunch and gospel concert on Sunday July 7 featuring Richard Dawkins and the John Brown Quintet with special guests Cyrus Chestnut and Tamisha Waden, and a nonprofit workshop facilitated by Saad& Shaw – Comprehensive Fund Development Services on Friday and Saturday mornings.
The festival began in 2009, when the Ocean City Community celebrated its 60th
anniversary with entertainment by a Fayetteville, N.C. jazz saxophonist and his
accompanist on the porch of the Community Center. All in attendance, both visitors and
residents, enjoyed the celebration, launching the annual Ocean City Jazz Festival as a vehicle to promote and celebrate the history of the Ocean City Community. Proceeds are used for community preservation; promotion of the history of the Ocean City Community and it significance to the State; to foster music education by underwriting jazz workshops; mentoring programs with master musicians for local students; and underwriting of festival costs.
The Festival has grown annually in attendance and features nationally recognized jazz
artists making it a perfect summer venue and destination. A variety of ticket packages
are available for the festival, with shuttles running from Jacksonville and Wilmington. A
full event travel package is also being offered. In January, the festival won “Best Sponsorship Package” in the state from the North Carolina Association of Festivals and Events.
For tickets, and additional information visit http://www.oceancityjazzfest.com.
About the Historic Ocean City Community
After World War II, Edgar Yow, an enterprising white Wilmington attorney and former
mayor purchased six miles of beach property on Topsail Island. As mayor, Yow was
acquainted with many members of the black community and realized that in the Jim
Crow era there was a need for beachfront recreational opportunities for African Americans.
Yow, call upon Dr. Samuel Gray and later Wade Chestnut and his siblings Betram,
Robert and Louise Chestnut. Gray and the Chestnuts purchased several tracts of land
from Yow and formed an inter-racial corporation, Ocean City Developers. Ocean City
Beach was established in 1949 and is the first community in the state that African
Americans could purchase oceanfront property.
Performance from the Ocean City Jazz Festival Website: