Produced and co-hosted by Dennis Fassuliotis and Gino Castillo, the Jazz Jam is part of the Annual Charleston Jazz Jam, which is in its eighth year. The 3rd Annual Spring Jazz Jam is an unscripted, unrehearsed four-hour jazz concert that is free to the public.
This year’s event starts at 4 p.m. at the Republic Garden & Lounge at 462 King St. But get ready to take the music one step further. Republic will feature a special menu designed by singer and chef Christopher Hyatt of the Gravy Waltz.
The Gino Castillo Quartet will start the show with Abdiel Iriarte on keyboards, Jake Holwegner on bass, Michael Quinn on saxophone and Castillo, the legendary percussionist and vocalist. Expect a salsa swinging rhythm section to anchor the talents of some of the best musicians in Charleston along with the delicious creations of Charleston’s only jazz singing Chef Christopher Hyatt.
Skipp Pearson, South Carolina’s Ambassador of Jazz, is expected to bring some friends from the Columbia jazz scene. Charleston’s beloved jazz icons Lonnie Hamilton III, Oscar Rivers Jr. and George Kenny will perform along with a rich blend of instrumental and vocal talents, including Duda Lucena, Bobbie Storm, Bobby Alvarez, Wayne Mitchum. Roman Pekar, Stephan Berry, Paul Gelpi and Heather Rice.
“With dozens of great local jazz musicians already committed this is just the beginning of our lineup,” Fassuliotis said. “As we have seen each and every year, wonderful surprise guest artists always show up too.”
“For the second year, Mayor Tecklenburg and his wife Sandy’s vision to address the needs of the homeless in Charleston are the driving forces for this event and an extension of their vision,” Fassuliotis said. “If we can have fun and help a worthy cause that’s what our jazz club is all about. Our events benefit people in need and the Charleston Jazz Club’s Spring Jazz Jam, along with our other annual event are where music and giving back to our community overlap.”
The event is being sponsored and hosted by Republic Garden & Lounge. A spokesman for Republic said, “Our mission is to set the ‘gold standard’ in hospitality. Through great food, great drinks, exceptional personalized service and live entertainment, we are excited to be part of this next chapter in the Holy City history of jazz and extending a special menu for the day is part of what sets us apart.” Republic offers more than 7,000 square feet of inside space, outside garden patio and full kitchen.
Fassuliotis founded the Charleston Jazz Club in 2009 to promote jazz in the Charleston area and to bring jazz musicians and jazz enthusiasts together for the first time using a social networking site (www.facebook.com/chasjazzclub). The club is the only virtual jazz club in the world. “It is so gratifying to be able to showcase local talent and raise funds for local activities with an event like this. The music follows wherever we go,” Fassuliotis said. “Although there is no admission fee, donations to the ‘Homeless to Hope Fund’ will be greatly appreciated and welcomed.”