Monday, April 16, 2018

Willie Akins Jazz Festival set for
Sunday, May 27 at Grandel Theatre

The second annual Willie Akins Jazz Festival will take place starting at 3:00 p.m. Sunday, May 27 at the Grandel Theatre.

The event honors the late St. Louis saxophonist by raising money for music scholarships in his name at Webster University, where Akins (pictured) was an adjunct faculty member. Singer Joe Mancuso is organizing the fest and will serve as co-MC with singer Erika Johnson, who worked with Akins early in her career.

The concert will feature music from saxophonist Ben Reece's Unity Quartet, trumpeter Danny Campbell's quartet, and the "Willie Akins All-Stars," an ad hoc group of musicians who worked with and/or knew Akins, including saxophonists Freddie Washington, Paul DeMarinis and Kendrick Smith, guitarist Tom Byrne, bassist Willem von Hombracht, and drummer Kyle Honeycutt.

Following the concert, the action moves to The Dark Room, where pianist Ptah Williams, bassist Darrell Mixon and drummer Gary Sykes will host a post-performance jam session.

Tickets for the Willie Akins Jazz Festival will be $12 for general admission, available at the door.

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