'Jazz in the Park' returns to Bankhead House

By JENNIFER COHRON, Daily Mountain Eagle
Posted 5/25/17

Pianist Choko Aiken and contemporary jazz saxophonist Dee Lucas will headline “Jazz in the Park” on Saturday at the Bankhead House and Heritage Center amphitheater.

The event, a collaboration with Birmingham-based …

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'Jazz in the Park' returns to Bankhead House

Posted

Pianist Choko Aiken and contemporary jazz saxophonist Dee Lucas will headline “Jazz in the Park” on Saturday at the Bankhead House and Heritage Center amphitheater.

The event, a collaboration with Birmingham-based nonprofit Magic City Smooth Jazz, kicks off the Walker Area Community Foundation’s “Under the Stars” summer concert series.

The concert will begin at 6 p.m.

Performers from Magic City Smooth Jazz first played the Bankhead House in 2014.

Birmingham natives Lauren “Sassy” Brown and James Crumb were scheduled to perform at Art in the Park, but the concert was rescheduled and moved to the Bankhead House after being rained out.

“It had such a great response that it became our Memorial Day kickoff,” said WACF community relations director Mimi Hudson.

The Bankhead House hosted its first outdoor concert, the Kool Katz Jazz Band, in October 2011 — just months after renovations of Sen. William Bankhead’s historic home ended and it was opened to the public.

Since then, a range of concerts have been held at the amphitheater, many of which have featured Walker County natives.

The 2017 line-up is no exception. On July 15, the Jasper Men’s Chorale will open for Stuart Upton, Perry Collins and Matt Wiley, who will be presenting “A Night of the Best of Jim Croce.”

On Aug. 26, the Bankhead House will host Southern Gospel group 11th Hour, featuring Walker County’s Grant Gibson.

The summer series will end Sept. 23 with The Macabillies Band.

The Bankhead House has also hosted several family movie nights in the amphitheater.

Last year, the documentary “The Bankheads” premiered in Jasper several months before it aired on Alabama Public Television.

On June 8, the Bankhead House will be showing Disney’s original “101 Dalmatians” in conjunction with the Tallulah Bankhead Tribute.

A number of local sponsors help make WACF’s “Under the Stars” summer series possible.

The Walker County Arts Alliance, Honda of Jasper and Hyundai of Jasper are co-sponsoring “Jazz in the Park” as well as concerts by 11th Hour and The Macabillies Band.

Jasper Main Street is co-sponsoring “A Night of the Best of Jim Croce.”

All events are free and open to the public because WACF owns and operates the Bankhead House as a gift to the community.