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Jazz by the Lake to feature sounds and songs of Peggy Lee

South Boston News
Peggy Alee / April 22, 2010
Jazz and pop legend Peggy Lee’s signature song, “Fever,” will heat up the lakeside stage at Occoneechee State Park in Clarksville at the sixth annual festival, Jazz by the Lake, Saturday, May 15 and Sunday, May 16.

Bringing Lee’s smoky, insinuating vocals to life will be West Coast jazz and swing singer Peggy Alee.

has introduced a new generation to Lee’s distinctive sound and Grammy-winning lyrics.

Alee is one of many professional musicians from around the country who will perform at the two-day event set for 4:30 p.m.–dark.

The festival also will feature:

** Decatur Street Beat from Chapel Hill, N.C., with the sounds of New Orleans

** Jazz pianist, Downbeat-award winning composer, and music professor Monika Hezig from the University of Indiana

** Acclaimed bassist Michael Hawkins who records with piano great Cyrus Chesnut

** Festival favorite, guitarist Josh Walker, who performs regularly in the Richmond-Charlottesville-Williamsburg area

** Richmond drummer Kip Williams

** Southside musicians: smooth jazz saxophonist Gilbert Baskerville, Boo Hanks on guitar with Blues vocals, and vocalist Ron Walker softly swingin’ Broadway classics

** Appomattox High School Jazz Band and J.F. Webb High School Jazz Band from Oxford, N.C.

Participating school bands will compete for the honor of backing Alee in a festival performance of several of Peggy Lee’s notable classics.

Alee began her career in the early ‘90s in California, where Peggy Lee heard her perform and asked her to sing her songs. They began a friendship that Alee continues with Nicki Lee Foster, the singer’s daughter.

She has performed at the Las Vegas Desert Inn, Andy Williams’ Club 76 in Branson, Missouri, and Carnival Cruise Line concerts. She has recently completed a 24-city tour of the United States with the Marriott corporation.

In January 2001, she received the Certificate of Commendation from the Mayor and City Council of Los Angeles for elevating public awareness of the music of “Miss Peggy Lee” as a classic art form. This award precipitated her opportunity to work with renowned bandleader and clarinetist Artie Shaw.

Bleacher seating will be available. Visitors are invited to bring chairs and blankets and relax under the trees.

Refreshments will be sold.

Admission to the concerts is free with admission to the park, which is located just east of Clarksville on U.S. 58.

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