Plant manager at NIBCO Douglas Purnell (right seated) presents Festival Hall Director Nicole Chillemi (left seated) with a $500 sponsorship check.

Douglas Purnell, plant manager at NIBCO, a manufacturer of plastic pipe fittings in Greensboro, presented Festival Hall Director Nicole Chillemi with a $500 sponsorship check March 28, for The Jazz Legacy Project: Art Blakey, The Father of Modern Jazz.

“We are thrilled that local businesses care about the arts and Festival Hall,” Chillemi said. “We rely on donations, grants and sponsors, in addition to our rental income, to sustain us and our beautiful facility and provide more accessible arts opportunities for our community.”

Festival Hall recently put a call out to area businesses to become sponsors for The Jazz Legacy Series, currently in its second full year. In 2021, Festival Hall presented The Jazz Legacy Project: The Life and Music of Billie Holiday, which received overwhelming positive reviews and calls from patrons for more. In 2022, Festival Hall presented three more shows that highlighted jazz icons Cole Porter, John Coltrane, and Billy Strayhorn.

This year, the series added a fourth show and recently presented the first of the 2023 series with Cannonball Adderley, Preaching the Gospel of Jazz. Upcoming shows for The Jazz Legacy Project highlight Art Blakey (May 11), Johnny Mercer (August 24), and Thelonious Monk (October 19).

Each program performed by The Jazz Legacy Project lasts roughly 90 minutes, with the goal of bringing the casual jazz listener inside the minds and music of the most influential and interesting American musicians of all time. The life and music of the artist/composer is entertainingly narrated by drummer Justin Varnes, and seminal jazz pieces are played to illuminate the narration.

These are not tribute concerts in the sense the musicians try to recreate the original performances but are intended instead to celebrate the essence and accomplishments of each artist.

Festival Hall thanks NIBCO for its support and thanks past sponsors of the Jazz Legacy Project Series, including Charles Miller and Co., First Presbyterian Church, and Oconee Brewing Company. Special thanks also go to series sponsor Visit Lake Oconee.

For more information on how to sponsor The Jazz Legacy Project series, email Nicole Chillemi at nicole@festivalhallga. com or call 762-243- 8022. Tickets are on sale now for The Jazz Legacy Project: Art Blakey, The Father of Modern Jazz, May 11, at 7:30 p.m. Visit for tickets.