The new web site at www.scjazzfestival.com features bios of featured artists Mike Longo, Ben Tucker, Kat Williams, Beth Chorneau and Jon Faddis, info on weekend packages and a slide show of last year’s festival. The schedule of events is also up according to Dale Davis with True Blue advertising.
Festival head Phil Powell praised fund raising chair Bill Malloy for his hard work. Presenting sponsors include the Cheraw Arts Commission, the South Carolina Arts Commission and the Town of Cheraw. Other major underwriters include The Schaeffler Group USA (INA), new sponsor Blue/Cross Blue Shield and The Jameson Inn, Wachovia Corp., Palmetto Brick, new sponsor Sonoco, GMAC and the Malloy Foundation. Powell said that several other sponsorship commitments were expected. “We really appreciate the support of the local community and the state and international companies who are investing in Cheraw and this festival. Their commitment allows us to bring in top level performers and get the word out about the jazz festival,” said Powell.
Powell also noted that volunteers were needed. “ We'll need folks to help with festival venue set-ups Friday and Saturday, and we especially need folks to help with ticket sales Friday afternoon and all day Saturday. We need hosts for restaurant crawl events and Saturday at the Home Site Park. The Arts Commission will need volunteers with art related events as well. Volunteers get the fun of meeting new people and being an integral part of a big event,” added Powell.
Lindsey Bennett with the Cheraw Arts Commission was excited about the new art offerings. “We have a lot more free activities for families including nationally known sidewalk artist Dan Nelson from Raleigh and the Dizzy Gillespie birthday party with cake at the Gillespie Home Site Park.” This year marks the 90th birthday of native Cheravian Jazz King Dizzy Gillespie.
According to Sarah Spruill rack cards have already gone out to the South Carolina Welcome Centers and a number of area visitors’ centers. "A lot of local jazz lovers have come by the Chamber of Commerce to pick up rack cards to send to friends and family. We are glad to provide as many brochures as friends of the festival think they can distribute.”
Many popular events are coming back from last year, including the Gospel Celebration at Wesley United Methodist Church. Centennial Park should be ready for the some of the downtown events according to Powell. Syndicated radio personality Mel Devonne will be the host for the major performances on Friday and Saturday nights. Ticket prices are $15 for a single night and $25 for both nights. A number of the daytime events are free.