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Bebopping in Harpers Ferry

Jazz saxophonist Charles Davis to perform at fundraiser

Jazz saxophonist Charles Davis to perform at fundraiser

April 06, 2006|by JULIE GREENE

HARPERS FERRY, W.Va. - It's no wonder Charles Davis chose to learn the saxophone.

While growing up in Chicago, he often would go to the Regal Theater to see stage shows with bands, comedians and musicians such as acclaimed saxophonists Charlie Parker and Lester Young.

The bebop jazz Davis plays was born from the music of artists such as the late Parker and Dizzy Gillespie, who also performed at the Regal.

Davis' bebop jazz can be heard Friday during at the Quality Inn ballroom.

The concert is the last of 11 jazz and blues concerts held since 1996 to raise funds for the Niagara Movement Centennial being celebrated Aug. 18 through Aug. 20 at Harpers Ferry National Historical Park, says Todd Bolton, project director for the centennial celebration.

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The Niagara Movement was the cornerstone to the modern Civil Rights movement and the precursor to the modern NAACP. The movement's second meeting and first in the United States was held on the campus of Storer College in Harpers Ferry from Aug. 15 to 19 in 1906.

Bolton, a jazz enthusiast, says Davis is a great bop and post-bop saxophone player and composer.

While Davis is an accomplished baritone sax player, he will focus Friday on the tenor and soprano saxophones, which he has been playing often of late.

"Each instrument requires a certain amount of dedication. It's not about being hard. It's about being dedicated," said Davis, 72, who now lives in New York City.

Jefferson County NAACP and the Harpers Ferry Historical Association are co-sponsoring the concert.

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