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Culture Diversity Untold Stories

A Sax Challenge and a Dancer

estrand Mar 22
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My husband and I went to the Williamsburg Winter Blues Jazz Fest to dance. We knew two of our favorite local bands, Good Shot Judy and 504 Supreme, were going to be there, and that was reason enough for us. But I left the Fest with something more than a few dances.

Music had never played a big part in my life. It was something to flip through on the radio while riding in the car or have on in the background to keep me pumped up during a workout. Music was a little extra frill in life: pleasant, but hardly worth more than a moment’s attention.

The Sax Challenge Extravaganza at Culture Fix’s Winter Blues Jazz Fest wasn’t an evening we’d been excited for or even planning to attend. With so many events so close together, both locals and out-of-towners enjoyed an effervescent mix of fun and friendship, and it lured us out that night.

When the lights went down in the lovely Depression-era Kimball Theater for the Sax Challenge Extravaganza I didn’t know what to expect. When the lights went up I felt I had been let in on a big secret. I could hear the call and response between the saxophone players. The way they riffed off each other. The way all the players came together in a harmonious whole that held me in awe. I looked up at the stage that night and, for the first time, I really heard jazz.

We went to the Jazz Fest to dance but came away with more. Over time I would go to local jazz jams, concerts, and start my own jazz vinyl collection. But I’ll never forget that first evening, where I got a little bit more than I expected.

Editor’s note: Would you like to experience Virginia’s unique history and culture? Mark your calendar for the Customs, Cultures & Cuisines Festival.


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  1. AE Curator March 27, 2019

    Thank you for sharing your story! Your experience demonstrates the unique power of culture.


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