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Homegrown Jazz concert to benefit WSCC
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Smooth sounds of jazz under the stars will be heard next week as Homegrown Jazz by the River, hosted by the Washington Street Community Center, makes its annual return.

The concert will be from 7-10 p.m. June 7 at Porterdale Mill Lofts, 1109 Main St., Porterdale. Doors open at 6 p.m.

The Daniel Jackson Review, known as "the South’s best kept secret’’ is this year’s featured jazz performer.

Jackson is a local jazz artist who plays the saxophone, lead guitar, flute and harmonica.

Coming from a musical family -- his father and grandfather are both blues singers -- Jackson began playing the saxophone in the fifth grade. The 2008 Encyclopedia of Jazz Musicians inductee has played with performers such as Chuck Berry, Duke Ellington, Al Green, Millie Jackson, The Manhattans and a host of others.

In addition to jazz, Jackson also plays oldies, soul, easy-listening, country rock, and several other genres of music. He describes his performances as "serving a five-course meal," and says that he plays to "serve several dishes.’’

Those attending are encouraged to bring picnic baskets, blankets and chairs to enjoy the jazz concert alongside the Yellow River. Proceeds will benefit the WSCC and its programs.

Vender Maddox, an organizer of the event and vice president of the WSCC board of directors, said this is the third annual jazz concert benefit. In the fall, the center hosts a Casino Night fundraiser.

Maddox said that because of the decline in and competition for federal grants, the center has had to turn to businesses and individuals for funding, and also must hold fundraisers. WSCC director Bea Jackson added that the center’s fundraisers help it sustain its programs.

"We want to reduce our dependency on government funding," Jackson said.

Maddox said the center’s jazz concert has brought out more than 250 people in the past.

"It’s a nice group that supports us," she said.

Tickets are $25 and can be purchased at the Washington Street Community Center or at the door. For more information, call 770-786-4002.