Atlanta, (October 14, 2019). First Friday at First is a part of the “Jazz Ministry” at First Congregational Church. As Atlanta’s premier jazz ministry, this jazz concert is held on the first Friday of each month. It is a program sponsored and hosted by First Congregational Church under the direction of The Reverend Dr. Dwight Andrews, pastor of the church and a jazz master in his own right.
Atlanta jazz enthusiasts know that “First Friday at First” is the place to be on the first Friday of each month. What could be better than hearing Joe Jennings in one of the most comfortable acoustically satisfying jazz rooms in the region? Great jazz is good for the soul and good food and drink is an added perk of First Friday.
The featured artist for November 1st is Joe Jennings, saxophonist, performing with the Neighborhood Arts Ensemble. First Friday at First is held at 6:00 P.M. on the Church’s campus at The Commons, located at 125 Ellis Street, NE; Atlanta, GA 30303. Mr. Jennings is an accomplished musician, composer, bandleader, and educator, and is the founder of the Neighborhood Arts Ensemble where he served as its Director of Music and Artist-in-Residence for many years.
The public is invited for great music, dinner, fun, and fellowship. Come early to get a seat or purchase your tickets in advance. Individual tickets are $20.00 each; season tickets are $15 each for purchases of eight or more concerts; and student tickets are $10.00 with student identification. Prices for dinner range from $4.00 to $7.00. All funds raised at church-based events will be used toward other church programs and outreach ministries. To purchase tickets for First Friday at First, please visit Eventbrite at firstfridayatfirst.eventbrite.com.
Currently serving as president of Sip-Jenn Music, Joe retired as Director of the Spelman College Jazz Ensemble and Coordinator of Jazz Studies at Spelman College in 2013. Mr. Jennings’ teaching experience includes Clark College, Mississippi Valley State College, Morehouse College and Spelman College. His performing experience includes tours and performances with Johnny Taylor, Duke Pearson, Clifford Jordan, Edward “Kidd” Jordan, Alvin Fielder, Freddie Waits, The Temptations, The Four Tops, Ruben Phillips and Nancy Wilson to name a few.
Joe served as Director of Music at the Atlanta Center for Black Art and Artist-in-Residence at the Atlanta Neighborhood Arts Center. He was the leader of “The Joe Jennings Saxtet,” founder and Director of the Metropolitan Atlanta Youth Ensemble – a jazz workshop for metropolitan youth, and is the co-founder and director of the recording group, Life Force. Life Force was featured at the North Sea Jazz Festival in 1991. Joe directed the Atlanta All Stars–a cultural ambassador music group to the 1994 Olympic Winter Games in Lillehammer, Norway. Mr. Jennings has written many compositions and arrangements and performed on and produced several recordings. With LIFE FORCE: Life Force Speaks and Tula Baba on the Nu-Mu label. Its first recording “Fearless Warriors” was re-released on Sonorama Records, Dusseldorf, Germany, October 2007. Joe’s latest recording “A Different Lens” was released in May 2012.
In 2017 Joe completed his 24th national tour with the Spelman College Jazz Ensemble, which included performances at the Kennedy Center, NJPAC (The New Jersey Performing Arts Center), 22 performances at the Schomburg Center for Social Research in New York City, the annual African-American Music Awards ceremony sponsored by the Northern New Jersey chapter of the National Alumnae Association of Spelman College, Colleges, Universities and Cultural Centers throughout the United States including a very popular joint concert series with the Drexel Jazz Ensemble in Philadelphia, Penn.
This is the final concert in the First Friday series for 2019. The line-up for Jazz 2019 has included some of Atlanta’s most prestigious jazz musicians who have graced the stage, anywhere. These jazz professionals have included Myrna Clayton, vocalist (March); Rod Harris, guitarist (April); Sy Smith, vocalist (May); Virginia Schenck, vocalist (June); Jason Marsalis, vibraphonist and percussionist (July); Gary Motley, pianist (August); Mace Hibbard, saxophonist (September); and Jay Hoggard, vibraphonist (October). Joe Jennings and the Neighborhood Arts Ensemble Big Band again provide the grand finale performance of the season.