Augusta celebrates Wycliffe Gordon Day Aug. 17

Waynesboro’s own Wycliffe Gordon performed on the day dedicated to him at Augusta University’s Fine Arts Center at the Summerville campus on Aug. 17.

The well-known jazz musician played multiple pieces, including On the Sunny Side of the Street by Louis Armstrong, as well as Caravan, an original song by Gordon. He was joined by TJ Barnes, a 2021 AU graduate and member of The Brownstown Gritty.

Sixteen years ago, former Augusta Mayor Deke Copenhaver declared Aug. 17 as Wycliffe Gordon Day. Currently the director of jazz studies at Augusta University, Gordon has played with the Wynton Marsalis Septet and the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra and has been named the Jazz Journalist Association’s Trombonist of the Year multiple times.

An information table at Augusta University’s Wycliffe Gordon Day event. Rakiyah Lenon/Augusta Good News

Gordon said he’s thought about it for a while, and after his wife’s encouragement, he wanted to do something special for the day.

“I’ve been wanting to do it, but I am so busy when I’m away from home,” he said. “Very seldom am I home on that day.”

Though Gordon had not done much to recognize the day in the past due to work or other obligations, he said that he would like to begin the tradition of acknowledging the day with an event.

“I’m going to start doing something annually now,” he said.

After his mother’s passing, he said it’s important that he takes the time to fulfill more goals.

“There are things that I’ve wanted to do, and I haven’t done, and I said ‘you know what? I want to do them’,” he said.

Music marking the occasion won’t stop there, as Gordon mentioned he will perform at 7 p.m. Aug. 18 at The Augusta Elks Lodge, 205 Elkdom Court. Admission is $20 per person and $35 per couple.

“We’ve got a bunch of my friends and we’re going to get together,” he said. “We’re going to play a concert. It’s going to be light jazz.”

In addition to celebrating Gordon, Augusta University’s music department also promoted the JJacobs Concert Series for the 2023-2024 season.

More information about the Jacobs Concert series can be found here and learn more about upcoming events from the Department of Music at Augusta University here.

Correspondent Rakiyah Lenon is the editor-in-chief of Augusta University’s Bell Ringer. Subscribe to the Augusta Good News’ newsletter here.

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