Our story begins like this….
“Once upon a time in a Piedmont town in North Carolina the first Blues and Jazz Jam was organized with the assistance of several local musicians, business sponsors, the United Arts Council of Rowan, and other Blues and Jazz enthusiasts of Salisbury, NC. It was held in a casual setting in the parking lot of the Rowan Health and Fitness Center in downtown Salisbury. Everyone brought their lawn chairs. They listened to two hometown celebrities, Jackie Torrence, storyteller, and Bob Paolino, blues guitarist, perform an excerpt from “Blues Story”, a play written by Ms. Torrence….”
Several other local bands performed that day as well. It was a triumphant afternoon and evening. As word spread about the event it was suggested that a Blues and Jazz Society be formed. In October of 1999, Ms. Eleanor Qadirah organized a meeting and the Rowan Blues and Jazz Society was born. A second Blues and Jazz Jam was held in September of 2000 and it has been an annual event ever since.
Our Mission is: to preserve, promote and present the art forms of Blues and Jazz music through educational programs in our schools, our community and through annual Blues and Jazz Festivals; to encourage youth musicians and bands through performances with more experienced musicians as well as their peers; to support local charitable events selected by board members; and, to create lasting relationships with our community through partnerships with our local businesses.
Our Goals are: to provide mentoring opportunities to young musicians through weekend music clinics; to acquire a mobile unit to be used to present blues, jazz and other art forms to our community; to offer blues and jazz entertainment and education at nursing homes, senior meal centers, neighborhood associations, parks and other public venues; to recognize and promote blues and jazz musicians of the Piedmont Region of North Carolina; to provide live blues and jazz performances to the public; to educate the public about blues and jazz as American art forms; and, to produce a PBS documentary program of the play “Blues Story”, written by local storyteller Jackie Torrence.