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Jazz Explosion

The fifth annual Garden City Jazz Explosion is happening Friday, April 20.

The event is a spring concert that is put on by Michael McClain, director of bands at Orangeburg-Wilkinson high school, and his students.

Headlining the event will be the O-W Jazz Combo, Maroon 7 Big Band and Orange 5 Big Band, all of which are made up of O-W students. Performances will also include the Benedict College Jazz Band, the Claflin University Jazz Combo, and the S.C. State University Jazz Ensemble. A special performance will be made by saxophonist Andre’ Green, a graduate of O-W.

McClain, who has served in his capacity for eight years, said the event is for the students.

“The explosion originated as an opportunity for students to perform before going to the Jazz Festival,” McClain said. “I invited the colleges to give the students the experience.”

McClain noted that many students have become members of the college ensembles and have returned to perform at the event.

“It will be a Cotton Club-style performance, McClain said. “This is something that is not as common today. This will give the students a chance to experience that environment.”

The Cotton Club existed in the 1920s and 1930s and featured performances by jazz legends such as Duke Ellington.

The event is open to the public and will be held in the O-W gymnasium beginning at 6 p.m. on April 20. The price of admissions is $10 for individual tickets and $50 for a table seating eight. For tickets, call 803-533-6339.

Contact the writer: bharris@timesanddemocrat.com and 803-533-5516

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