Jazz ABZ at Hamilton Community Theatre

The new Hamilton Community Theatre will present Jazz ABZ, a musical revue based on the book by Wynton Marsalis, April 2 and 9.

Jazz ABZ features selections from Wynton’s new book of poetry for children and adults interwoven with live performances of jazz standards made famous by artists such as Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holliday, Louis Armstrong, Miles Davis and many more.

The production is directed by Randy Forester. Musical direction is provided by Robert Crabtree who performs jazz keyboard and conducts the band.

Advance tickets are $12 and can be purchased on-line through the theatre’s website. Tickets will also be available at the door.

Matinee performances will be Sunday, April 2, and Sunday, April 9, at 3 p.m. at the Hamilton Community Church, 7997 Shallowford Road. Visit or call (423) 304-7157 for tickets or more information.

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  1. I must say after witnessing the spetacular production of “Jazz ABZ” held at the Hamilton Community Theatre I was moved. From the bands musical numbers to the cast enthusiastic interpretations of the books poetry, everything was so heart felt. It was very obvious that a lot of hard work and preparation went into this production. I think this show should be taken on the road for all to see. If you are not a fan of Jazz music, you will be after you see this production.

    Gerald Webb, Jr.

    Gerald Webb Jr. on Apr 15th, 2006 at 12:11pm

  2. Wow…thank you so much. I’ll just bet there will be productions of that book all over, it really does lend itself to performance. I like the cast dispersed thru the audience doing an interactive reading! That must have played out really well sonically with sounds bouncing back and forth, commanding the audience’s attention! That’s a really powerful presentation (in my mind’s eye!). One day, I will see a production. So glad you did this, keep on.


    Jurzy Girl on Apr 5th, 2006 at 8:28pm

  3. Jurzy—
    We opened with the cast interspersed throughout the audience, presenting an interactive reading of the powerful Ella Fitzgerald poem. And it just keeps getting better. Reading the book is a great experience in itself, but seeing and hearing it brought to life on stage is, well, “flash! bam! alakazam!”

    Rosemary on Apr 5th, 2006 at 2:44pm

  4. Dear JG,

    Too bad you cannot come down to Chattanooga on April 9 to see the show — it is fantastic! The show is set in a 50’s style Jazz Cafe with open mic. Although the order of actors presenting their individual pieces (i.e. recitation of poetry paying homage to the jazz artist and/or performing a jazz piece) is set into place, the script, so to speak, is not overly rehearsed. This, according to our director, Randy Forester, is in keeping with the 50’s beatnick cafe theme. So to be a part of the audience is really to be transported back to a time when folks who love jazz are enjoying themselves immensely in an authentic-feeling atmosphere. If I do say so myself, the actors/musicians are gifted and talented and do a fantastic job. I believe Mr. Marsalis himself would be pleased with our interpretations of his beautiful poetry. Wish you could come.


    Jessica Perry on Apr 5th, 2006 at 9:04am

  5. Do you have a way you can chare the performance with us on line? I’m interested inkowing how you presented the material; and, also, which poems did the audience respond to most enthusiastically?


    Jurzy Girl on Apr 5th, 2006 at 5:05am

  6. I have thoroughly enjoyed being able to interpret the poetry from the book and experimenting with ways to present it on stage. Performing these pieces has really been a fun treat! It’s like playtime with words. The excellent writing is a huge pleasure to explore, especially when audience responds to it so positively. Thanks for the opportunity to help educate and expose people to these jazz greats in such a unique way.

    Nathan Pizar on Apr 4th, 2006 at 5:57pm

  7. Wynton Marsalis’s poetry captures the very essence of each of these musicians in his book, Jazz ABZ. The stage production breathes life into both the music and the musicians featured in the book.
    Thank you, Mr. Marsalis.
    We wallow in Wynton’s work.

    Rosemary Wallace
    Associate Producer

    Rosemary on Apr 4th, 2006 at 5:03pm