Vanessa Rubin

Uptown Greenville will be grooving to the sounds of jazz Friday night.

For the second consecutive year, the city is hosting its Greenville Grooves Music Festival with the help of world-renowned jazz bassist Carroll Dashiell.

Jazz recording artist and featured performer Vanessa Rubin will join the local bassist along with guitarist Scott Sawyer for a free concert beginning at 5 p.m. in the Town Common Amphitheatre on 105 East First St.

“Vanessa is an incredible vocalist. She has been to Greenville before and has worked with the jazz festival at ECU,” said Dashiell. “I’ve had the pleasure of working with her since about 1990. She’s a high-demand artist for jazz festivals around the world. because she’s an outstanding performer, composer, arranger and educator.”

Dashiell, university director of jazz ensemble and string/electric bass professor, headlined last year’s event, which was held in honor of African-American Music Appreciation Month in June. He was recently honored by the city for his impact on the community and the success of the Greenville Grooves Festival.

“When we were thinking of an artist to headline it, it was an easy quick thought that Carroll should be the one so this year we named it after him because he’s certainly put Greenville on the map when it comes to jazz studies,” said City of Greenville Community Development Director Merrill Flood. “He is known throughout the world for his musical offering and has played with Ray Charles and a little bit of everyone.”

Dashiell says he played his first gig with Charles when he was around 16-years-old, touring with him on and off until his passing in 2004. “I loved him incredibly and he was a big influence on my life, he said. “I travelled all around the world with him.”

While last year’s concert was primarily rhythm and blues, the festival on Friday will be specifically contemporary and traditional jazz music. Flood says the idea is to help Greenville and the area residents enjoy musical forms that are found in their own backyard – for that reason, Dashiell and the ECU jazz ensemble will accompany Rubin, a Cleveland-native who has sang in various groups since the 1980s.

“The city started the festival to bring people together and celebrate the music that’s right here in Greenville,” said Flood.

Greenville Grooves is presented by 107.9 WNCT-FM, the Pitt-Greenville Convention and Visitors Bureau, Beasley Media Group’s KISS-FM, and Beach Boogie & Blues.

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