Aiken Performing Arts presents jazz night

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AIKEN -- Aiken Performing Arts Group will offer a night of jazz by Jeremy Davis and the Equinox Jazz Orchestra at 8 p.m. Thursday and Friday at the URS Center for the Performing Arts in Aiken, according to a news release.

The event will feature a "Mercer Mostly" performance, focusing on the music of Johnny Mercer. Tickets, which are $40 general admission and $20 for students, are available online at www.APAGonline.org or through the URS Center for the Performing Arts box office at (803) 648-1438. Special group rates also are available.

The Equinox Jazz Orchestra, to be accompanied by a vocalist, is a nine-piece ensemble that features works of Motown, Funky New Orleans and emphasizes the music of those such as Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Harry Connick Jr., Michael Buble, Brian Setzer, Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Glenn Miller, Johnny Mercer, Tony Bennett and many more.

Jeremy Davis, the group's leader and a tenor sax player, is an immediate past president of the Friends of Johnny Mercer in Savannah, Ga. Equinox started in Monroe, La., and in September 2005 it expanded to Savannah to start a second operation. Dr. Hoppy Hallman is the band arranger and musical director, having worked as a script doctor on dozens of major Disney projects, including Who Framed Roger Rabbit, The Whole Nine Yards, Dick Tracy, Arachnophobia and The Little Mermaid. Hallman also has conducted for such artists as Vanessa Williams and Rick James.

As part of this two-night performance, there will also be a couple of special groups being honored. At the Thursday performance, Aiken Performing Arts Group will host soldiers from the Charlie Norwood VA Medical Center Active Duty Rehab Unit, also known as the "Wounded Warriors." The local VFW will also host the Wounded Warriors for dinner before the show.

At 12:30 p.m. Friday APAG also will offer an Education Outreach effort with the Equinox Jazz Orchestra, hosting 320 students from Aiken County's seven high schools. These seats were offered to jazz musicians first, band musicians second and other musicians after that.

For more information on APAG or to obtain tickets for this event or those upcoming, visit www.APAGonline.org or call (803) 648-1438.


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