Celebrate the rich culture and history of Hamlet this weekend at the 4th annual John Coltrane Music “Edu-tainment” Festival, held at the Waymon Chapel Faith Center, 451 Ghio Osborne Road, just off of Airport Road. The event will be held from 12 to 7 p.m. and will merge education and entertainment in a day full of fun, family and live, local “edu-tainment.”
“We will spotlight inspiring facts about celebrities and leaders from the Piedmont, Sandhills, PeeDee and other rural areas in both Carolinas,” said founder G.A. Morrison. “We hope to live up to our theme: Polishing the Diamonds In Our Own Backyard.”
The festival will feature live performing acts while honoring homegrown celebrities of education, entertainment, politics, restaurants, racing, business, fine arts and future leaders. Visitors can learn about exciting and little-known facts about the area, and can gain a renewed appreciation for a region Morrison said is too often referenced for underdevelopment, unemployment, drop-out rates and adult illiteracy rates.
Legend has it that John W. Coltrane was born in Hamlet on Sept. 23, 1926, and passed away before reaching the age of 41. His talent as a musician was coupled with the likes of Dizzy Gillespie, Miles Davis, Thelonius Monk and others.
In honor of his name, several musicians and entertainers have been invited to this year’s John Coltrane festival.
According to Morrison, 14 acts are scheduled for the big day, including the art director for all of Motown Recording Corporation, Curtis McNair.
“We hope to focus on premium regional talent and feature diverse types of music,” Morrison said. Music styles will differ from classical to country, bluegrass, beach music and the blues, salsa, ragtime and reggae and even rock and hip-hop.
All ages and cultures are invited to the celebration. Morrison said the festival targets over 20 counties within an hour of Richmond County.
“The attendance doubles every year,” he said.
Since October is the designated month of awareness for many national and family concerns, Morrison said he will be offering a 20 percent discount on tickets to individuals and families of cancer, domestic violence and depression education. Since the festival’s founding, discounts have also been offered for educators and students, health care personnel, re-entries and reformed citizens, nonprofit and government employees and military members and veterans.
Doors open at 12 p.m. and performances will begin at 1 p.m.
The cost is $5 in advance or $8 at the door. Free for kids ages 5 and younger. For ticket information, visit JCMEF.eventbrite.com.
— Staff Writer Mallory Brown can be reached at 910-997-3111, ext. 18, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org