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Jonesboro celebrates ‘Jazz Under the Stars’

Photo by Curt Yeomans
Musician Xavier Scott demonstrates how long he can hold a single note on a soprano saxophone during the “Jazz Under the Stars” concert, in Jonesboro.

Photo by Curt Yeomans Musician Xavier Scott demonstrates how long he can hold a single note on a soprano saxophone during the “Jazz Under the Stars” concert, in Jonesboro.

Despite the looming threat of rain, hundreds of people gathered at Jonesboro’s Lee Street Park this past weekend to relax and enjoy some jazz.

Until Mother Nature decided to make her presence known — that is.

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Photo by Curt Yeomans Saxophone player Jason Bitten performs a song at the “Jazz Under the Stars” concert on Saturday.

Approximately 350 people attended the City of Jonesboro’s first ever “Jazz Under the Stars” concert. The event marked the town’s first time as a participant in the Atlanta Jazz Festival’s “31 Days of Jazz.”

The concert included performances by Lovejoy Library Branch Youth Services Librarian Xavier Scott, and his band; the Clayton State University Community Jazz Combo Band, and local saxophone player Jason Bitten.

Bitten’s performance was cut short, however, when rain began to fall. The rain prevented a fourth performer, Mohammed Baatin, and his band from performing.

Before the rain brought an early end to the evening, however, some attendees relaxed in chairs, with coolers full of food and drinks, while others laid out on blankets, to listen to the performers.

Some of the musicians said they hoped the concert becomes an annual Clayton County tradition.

“We need more activities like this,” said Stacey Houghton, the director of the Clayton State University Community Jazz Combo Band. “Actually, we need more music-related activities — period.”

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Photo by Curt Yeomans/ Clayton State University Community Jazz Combo Band members Stacey Houghton (from left), Tony Bailey and Doug Murray perform during the 2012 “Jazz Under the Stars” concert, at Lee Street Park, in Jonesboro, as part of the Atlanta Jazz Festival’s “31 Days of Jazz.”

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Photo by Curt Yeomans/ Approximately 350 people gathered at Lee Street Park, in Jonesboro, on Saturday for the town’s first-ever “Jazz Under the Stars” concert. It was the first time Jonesboro had ever participated in the Atlanta Jazz Festival’s “31 Days of Jazz.”