Blues, jazz concert on Oct. 12

Published 6:39 pm Tuesday, September 24, 2019

The Smithfield Times and the Isle of Wight Arts League will present Blues and Jazz at Times Square on Saturday, Oct. 12.

The concert will feature three of the region’s most talented and beloved jazz and blues bands and combos — Forte, Bobby Blackhat and the MSG Acoustic Blues Trio. 

All three groups were scheduled to perform separately on Friday nights during the Summer Concert Series this and all three were cancelled due to rain. As a general rule, the series doesn’t try to schedule “make up” concerts, but in this instance, the sponsors opted to stage a combined event on Souper Saturday, the annual Christian Outreach fundraiser that brings church members from throughout the county together to help raise funds to help needy families pay fuel oil bills during the coming winter.

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The concerts will begin at 3 p.m. as Souper Saturday activities are winding down. The groups will perform on the Gazebo Stage on the green in front of The Smithfield Times, known informally for years as Times Square. Each group will perform a set that lasts a bit less than an hour, so that the entire event will conclude at about 5:30.

The performers

• Forte is an eight-piece ensemble based in Smithfield. Created in 1995, the group has performed extensively throughout the region, including the Hampton Jazz Festival in Hampton. Forte, a longtime supporter of the Summer Concert Series, creates quality musical performances that invite listeners to share the group’s love of the art. Its trademark is the energy it brings to the staged.

• Bobby “Blackhat” Walters, is a recording artist, harmonica player, vocalist and songwriter, and all of that since retiring as a commander in the United States Coast Guard. He has released four CD’s and his song, “I Hear Mama’s Voice” won the 2012 Blewzzy Award as Song of the year. And has opened concerts for blues legends B.B. King, and Taj Mahal.

• The M.S.G. Acoustic Blues trio performs traditional Piedmont blues. Their style of music has been influenced by the likes of Archie Edwards, Etta Baker and Cephas and Wiggins. The trio can raise the roof with some old-fashioned house party tunes, make you laugh with their witty originals and than make you weep with blues ballads.

Rain site

If this concert is forced off the Gazebo Stage by inclement weather, it will be moved indoors to the social hall of Christ Episcopal Church. The church will be hosting tours of the church throughout Souper Saturday as part of its fund drive to pay for major structural issues that are endangering the church’s priceless stained glass windows.