• Laurel Contributor

Beethoven, Bailey and a Big Band

by Brenda Baldwin

The 38th annual Highlands-Cashiers Chamber Music Festival concludes on August 11, when the Gershon-Cohn Final Gala and Dinner Party presents our first-ever swing concert with “Beethoven, Bailey and a Big Band” featuring cellist Zuill Bailey, pianist and Festival Artistic Director William Ransom, and the Joe Gransden Big Band.

Cellist Zuill Bailey’s combination of musical artistry, technical wizardry and engaging personality makes him one of the most sought-after cellists today. An acclaimed recording artist with over 20 titles, he won a Best Solo Performance Grammy Award in 2017 for his live recording of “Tales of Hemingway.” His “Bach Cello Suites” soared to No. 1 on the Classical Billboard Charts, and his Dvorak Concerto CD is listed in the “Penguin’s Guide” as one the Top 1,000 Classical Recordings of all time.

Pianist William Ransom has appeared in Eastern and Western Europe, Japan, Korea, South America, Mexico, and throughout the United States. Ransom was the featured pianist performing music by Dwight Andrews used in August Wilson’s Pulitzer Prize-winning Broadway hit, “The Piano Lesson,” as well as the Hallmark Hall of Fame movie based on the same play. In addition to his role as Artistic Director of the Festival, Ransom is the Mary L. Emerson Professor of Piano at Emory University in Atlanta and founder and Artistic Director of the Emory Chamber Music Society of Atlanta.

The Joe Gransden 16-Piece Big Band is one of the busiest groups on the jazz scene. They recently played two sold-out shows at the World Famous Blue Note Jazz Club in New York City. The band’s new release entitled “It’s A Beautiful Thing” is getting radio airplay all over the world, and their “Go Getta” recording featuring Kenny G is available now. Clint Eastwood says, “Joe is a young man with an old soul and a classic voice. He is a great new talent with a wonderful sense of humor to boot. And don’t forget, he plays a hell of a trumpet!”

Further details and tickets about this exciting final concert and dinner are available by calling (828) 526-9060, via email at hccmfnc@gmail.com, or online at h-cmusicfestival.org.

The Laurel Magazine

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