Joye in Aiken event at The Willcox delights with joyous jazz

·2 min read

Jun. 7—Editor's note: This article has be updated to reflect the Joye of Jazz event is the second event in the Joye in Aiken schedule for 2021.

Joye in Aiken, a local nonprofit organization bringing music, dancers and actors to the city, held its second post-pandemic event Sunday outside of The Willcox hotel.

The normally weeklong festival was cut down to smaller daylong events in the wake of the pandemic.

"We're very excited to bring Joy in Aiken in a new format and we're so appreciative that everyone has been so flexible in bringing the 2021 Joye in Aiken to the community," said Janice Jennings, executive director of Joye in Aiken. "We're excited to have live music and in-person concerts again."

Attendees said they were happy to be back, regardless of the format of the festival.

"We've been coming for years supporting Joye in Aiken," said attendee Maria Glinski. "It's a phenomenal venue here at The Willcox and they always bring fabulous music — couldn't be better."

Sunday's Joye of Jazz event included an afternoon performance by Evan Christopher and an evening performance by Wycliffe Gordon.

Christopher, a clarinetist, has been featured in The New York Times and The Observer for his New Orleans clarinet style and adaptations.

He said he was impressed with how organizers were able to make the concert series happen.

"They've managed to adapt to the COVID guidelines and recommendations to reinvent themselves — they were very sensible and creative in how they did it," Christopher said.

Gordon, the headliner, was named the 2020 Trombonist of the Year by the Jazz Journalists Association for the 13th time and performs all over the world.

Joye in Aiken will be holding a jazz camp June 24-27 featuring Riley Mulherkar, Joye in Aiken artistic director for jazz.

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