By Special to the Daily World
Over 100 people enjoyed the cool jazz vocals of the Atlanta Jazz Chorus and the swinging beats of Rev. Dwight Andrews and his trio of musicians on Saturday, Feb. 19, at the Sadie G. Mays Health & Rehabilitation Center. The occasion was a Black History Celebration and it not only included a special “Jazz Vespers” performance by the Atlanta Jazz Chorus, but also an Art Walk highlighting the work of several Atlanta artists.
The afternoon began with a warm greeting by Aungelique Proctor, FOX 5 TV reporter and member of the Sadie G. Mays Advisory Board, who served as emcee for the event. This was followed by the Atlanta Jazz Chorus’ “Jazz Vespers” performance. The audience enjoyed a wide variety of pieces from “The Bach Bourree” to the “23rd Psalm” and “Swing Low Sweet Chariot.” The 16-member group has been performing its special brand of worship through jazz since 1997 when Rev. Dwight Andrews, Senior Minister of First Congregational Church, instituted the program as part of the National Black Arts Festival. Though the Atlanta Jazz Chorus’ members are from throughout the city, the “Jazz Vespers” has become a highly anticipated program of the church ever since, with performances several times per year. Their next performance will be on May 7, 2011, at First Congregational Church.
The Art Walk was the result of an effort by the Sadie G. Mays Board Chair Alton Myers, to ask local artists to donate original works of art to the nonprofit, skilled nursing facility in northwest Atlanta. Working with artist Velma Ludaway, he was successful at convincing 10 artists and organizations to donate artwork. One of the original paintings was “A Tribute to J. Lowell Ware” by Raymond Cody, donated by The Atlanta Voice newspaper as a commemoration of its 40th year in operation.
The Art Walk gave attendees a chance to tour the facility, see the artwork on display, and talk to the artists.
These artists included Charlotte Riley-Webb, Ron Witherspoon, K. Joy Ballard Peters, Linda Mitchell and Sharon Crumley. Other artists who donated work but could not attend were Sammie Nicely, Ronnie Phillips and Regency Fine Art, which donated a piece by Charles Bibb. Attendees had a chance to hear from the artists about their inspiration and techniques for creating works of art. The Art Walk was followed by a reception where guests and residents of Sadie G. Mays Health & Rehabilitation Center mingled freely.
The Sadie G. Mays Health & Rehabilitation Center is a 206-bed, skilled nursing facility which was founded as the Happy Haven Nursing Home by Sadie Gray Mays (Mrs. Benjamin E. Mays) in 1947. It is now a full-service nursing and rehabilitation center which has achieved the highest rating (five stars) in overall quality by Medicare. For more information, contact 404- 794-2477 or visit www.sgmays.org.