AP NEWS

Swingin’ Jazz concert fills up Aiken Community Theater

March 25, 2019

The Swingin’ Jazz Concert ended a long, busy weekend of community events in Aiken at the AECOM Center for Performing Arts on Sunday evening.

A crowd of over 200 gathered to hear local jazz musicians play at the center on Newberry Street in downtown Aiken. Performances were given by three jazz ensembles: 4 Cats in the Doghouse, Dennis DiSano’s Nice ‘n’ Easy, and the Martin David Jones Trio.

Members of 4 Cats in the Doghouse – Scott Ferguson, George Sykes, Edwin Hamilton and David Brown – perform regularly on Thursdays at The Willcox.

Dennis DiSano played trumpet for Nice ‘n’ Easy, performing with Sykes and Brown.

Travis Shaw and Edwin Hamilton performed with Martin David Jones in the Martin David Jones Trio.

The event began at 7:30 p.m., though many attendees arrived early for champagne and chocolates. Artists performed familiar works by George Gershwin, Johnny Mercer and other American songwriters.

The crowd was full of upbeat energy and applauded loudly and regularly at every turn.

“This is a fundraiser for the Aiken Symphony Orchestra,” said Bruce Leinster of the Board of Trustees with the Aiken Symphony Guild. “Tonight we’re having an evening of jazz, so we’re having three jazz ensembles tonight, following a chocolate and champagne reception.”

Leinster said the previous fundraiser for the Aiken Symphony Orchestra involved a raffle for tickets for a Viking River Cruise, which he said was “very successful.”

The Aiken Symphony Guild is primarily responsible for raising funds for the orchestra, according to Leister. The Aiken Symphony board, he said, runs the orchestra.

Leinster said they had a “good turnout,” as well over 200 tickets were sold to the event, and the theater only seated 292. Complimentary tickets were also given out to some members of the community.

“In my mind (the Aiken Symphony Orchestra) is an exceptional orchestra, not just for a small town,” Leinster said. “It’s an exceptional orchestra.”