Cool Jazz for Hot Night

Posted: August 15, 2013

The Winchester Star

Berryville — For organizers of Cool Jazz for a Hot Night, atmosphere is everything.

With good food, smooth music, and dancing, the evening is meant to evoke the feeling of an elegant jazz cabaret, said Dorothy Davis, who coordinated the event with John Burns.

The event, now in its second year, will be from 7 to 10 p.m. Saturday at Barns of Rose Hill, 95 Chalmers Court, Berryville. Tickets are $75.

Cool Jazz is a fundraiser for the Josephine School Community Museum in Berryville to continue its efforts to raise money for new exhibits, she said. After the success of the first event, organizers were thrilled to bring it back again.

“It looked like a jazz night club in New York City,” said Davis, a member of the museum board. “The ambiance was fantastic.”

The event will include music by the Greg Lamont Jazz Trio of Washington, D.C., dancing, a complimentary drink, heavy appetizers, a live auction, and a cash bar, she said.

Pianist Lamont plays in a variety of configurations with other musicians and will bring two others with him for Saturday. The group has a repertoire that includes music from the American Songbook, popular and traditional jazz tunes and his own compositions, said Davis of Bunker Hill, W.Va.

“I call it cool jazz,” she said. “It is refreshing. You can relax and enjoy it.”

The soothing music is also great for dancing, said Burns, vice president of the museum board. “We had a lot of people dancing last year.”

The live auction will feature two tickets to see the Freddy Cole Quartet at Blues Alley in Washington, D.C., an original painting by Tia Maggio of Millwood, five consecutive years of White House Easter eggs signed by President Barack Obama and the first lady, and a meal for six prepared by Geneva Jackson.

The food will be catered by Thyme Savor Catering, which is operated out of the Boyds Nest Restaurant on Main Street in Berryville, Davis said. The menu includes Caprese skewers, curried chicken on pumpkin bread, pork ’n’ pear bruschetta, bacon-wrapped olives, crab, shrimp and, wasabi puffs, and an assortment of desserts.

About 80 people attended the first event, which raised around $6,000 for the museum, he said. The money goes toward general operating costs, with the eventual “goal of opening the doors more than two hours a week.”

When Burns proposed a large scale fundraiser last year — something the museum’s board had never attempted — organizers knew they wanted to create a jazz fundraiser that could become an annual event, Davis said.

“We had never stepped out and done a large fundraiser such as this,” she said. “We depended on donations and memberships. We hesitated with huge fundraisers.”

The funds raised also go toward the creation of “Reconstruction through the Civil Rights Era,” an exhibit telling the story of African Americans in Clarke County, he said.

The exhibit will focus on memories and stories about the time between the 1870s and 1960s as experienced by African Americans in Clarke County and their ancestors, Burns said.

Preparations for the exhibit have started with the collection of oral histories in the area, Burn said. The museum has held two luncheons in which they invited members of the community to share their memories of life in Clarke County.

The guests are invited by age, he said. They have already interviewed people ranging from 70s to 90s.

Another luncheon held at 11 a.m. Sept. 21 will bring in more people in their 80s and 90s to share their memories, he said. “Hopefully, we will have something in the works next year. We have gathered quite a bit of information. We just have to get to the organizing part of it.”

With only a small volunteer base and board, some things move slowly, so organizers are also looking for people who would like to become involved with the museum, he said.


Cool Jazz for a Hot Night will be from 7 to 10 p.m. Saturday at Barns of Rose Hill, 95 Chalmers Court, Berryville. Tickets to the event, which are $75, will benefit the Josephine School Community Museum. For tickets, call the Barns at 540-955-2004 or email


— Contact Laura McFarland at