Jazz and support for the community; the spirit of #AnElegantEveningOfJazz
On Sunday July 23rd (2023), Life With Shenita, in collaboration with 2Queens Productions, hosts the inaugural #AnElegantEveningOfJazz event at Spivey Hall (on the campus of Clayton State University). The event focuses on immersing the audience with jazz and a truly engaging experience (click HERE for our preview).
And it is an overwhelming success.
Prior to the actual event, a student-quartet from the Martha Ellen Stidwell School of the Arts, provides a wonderful backdrop during the reception hour for VIP's (3pm start time) along with general patrons (as the doors open after 4pm). The 5pm start time allows the MC and the spoken word artist, Jay White, to set the tone along with reminding all of the focus of the event, which is to provide support for #LifeAfterTheRain (a community organization focusing on providing support and related access resources for widows and widowers) and the school.
Violinist Brooke Alford's set builds upon the welcome provided, especially when she performs her song "Shine". The call and response is eagerly received by the audience, and her theme of living this life to the fullest and knowing it feels better on the other side, providing a positive lift for the audience.
The positive energy builds with the performance of saxophonist Dee Lucas. In addition to his original tracks, his rendition of the Isley Brothers standard "Footprints in the Dark" is well received.
After a brief intermission, Kim Scott, the headliner, continues to elevate the audience. Her opening explanation of what "life after the rain" can mean (especially as it relates to life's challenges), it's a reminder to stay focused on leaving with hope and energy. Her cover of the Jill Scott anthem "Golden", ode to classic soul icons Aretha Franklin and Chaka Khan (with her rendition of Natural Woman and Sweet Thing, respectively), and her performance of SHINE! (featuring Blake Allen), the 2022 Billboard Song of the Year for Smooth Jazz, only adds to the amazing atmosphere, leaving the audience yearning for more.
And more is exactly what they receive.
All 3 artists come together for an amazing grand finale performance. Their creative energies are evident with their collective artistry on "I'm Every Woman" (by Chaka Khan) and the summertime (or any time) favorite, "Before I Let Go" (Maze, featuring Frankie Beverly). To close out the event, in addition to words from the organizers, proclamations are presented by the City of Morrow (presented by councilmember/mayor pro-temp Renee Knight) and the Clayton County Board of Commissioners (read by Andrew Snorton).
An inaugural event leaving a meaningful impact via the celebration of the creative and performing arts, along with lending support to community organizations, one of which provides hope and more for those who are widows or widowers (who are well represented at last night's concert), is clearly one to celebrate and rally around. Combined with a quality venue, artists, and purpose, there's clearly some positive things taking place in the immediate area and beyond.
There's clearly life after the rain.