Lex Jazz Foundation strings in a crowd at 20th anniversary bash



By Kelly Berger

Downtown Lexington was grooving to a different beat Sunday afternoon. Instead of cheering on the fight song, people could be heard clapping and moving to the sounds of soulful jazz.

Jamey Aebersold, Orville Hammond and nationally-known violinist Zach Brock were among the musicians who played to a sold out crowd of around 100 people at Natasha’s Bistro and Bar.

The show was put together as a fundraiser to benefit the Jazz Arts Foundation’s Live at the Library Production Fund. The event was sponsored by WRFL-FM, Jamey Aebersold Jazz and Smiley Pete Publishing.

Dave McWhorter, president of the Jazz Arts Foundation, said the event and organization started because “jazz needed a voice.”

“Lexington didn’t have anything like this nonprofit program, and now it’s brought about 82 performers and hosts events every month,” he said.

The audience ranged from the young and old tapping away to beat of the music and munching on some of Natasha’s special Sunday jazz menu offerings.

The bash lasted from 2 to 5 p.m. and students in attendance said they thoroughly enjoyed the show,

“It was awesome, groovy, I really dug it,” Nathan Smith, a telecommunications senior, said.

The event kicked off with Aebersold on saxophone and Hammond on the piano jamming together and then Brock took over about halfway through. Brock shared the stage with his father, Dan Brock, on trumpet and the rest of his lineup, which consisted of a pianist, drummer and bassist.

McWhorter said he was excited about this event and was happy to put on another collaborative effort with UK and treasury of the foundation, UK telecommunications teacher John Clark.

Clark, said this event was indeed a milestone.

“It was so special,” he said. “People enjoyed it, and loved it. People were crying and we’ve never had people this enthusiastic about it…Zack Brock was so amazing, he truly brought it.”

The next big jazz event will be the Lexington Jazz Festival Sun. June 6 at Talon Winery and Vineyards from 1 to 7 p.m.