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NEWS
By Kate Coleman | March 5, 2006
I recently witnessed some living history. No, I didn't go to a Civil War battle re-enactment or visit the nearby Fort Frederick. I attended the fourth annual Black History Month Jazz Heritage Concert in Shepherdstown, W.Va., which featured Butch Ballard and Buddy Catlett with the Howard Burns Quartet. Ballard, 87, is a drummer whose career spans more than 70 years. He's played with jazz legends Fats Waller, Louis Armstrong, Count Basie and Duke Ellington. Seventy-two-year-old Catlett has played bass professionally for more than 50 years.
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NEWS
By ROBERT SNYDER | February 4, 2006
martinsburg@herald-mail.com HARPERS FERRY, W.VA. - Holy ground is how some leaders of the modern American civil rights movement describe Harpers Ferry. It was here in 1867 that Storer College was founded to educate former slaves, serving as the state's only public institution of higher learning until 1891. And it was here, eight years before the school opened, that abolitionist John Brown lit the spark in a raid on the town that helped ignite the Civil War. And it was to the Mather Training Center in Harpers Ferry that members of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People gathered for a press conference Friday to announce the upcoming centennial commemoration of the Niagra Movement, which first convened here in 1906 and served as the forerunner to that organization and to the modern civil rights movement.
NEWS
by JULIE E. GREENE | June 23, 2005
julieg@herald-mail.com HARPERS FERRY, W.Va. - Frank Wess was playing tenor sax with the Count Basie Orchestra when Basie learned Wess also played the flute, an opportunity Basie and Wess seized upon in future concerts. At the time - it was the '50s - flutes and jazz were a rare combination. "It was at one time, but it's not now. There's flute players all over now," said Wess, 83, in a recent phone interview from his home in New York City. Wess and Vince Prudente will perform, backed by the Howard Burns Quartet, at the fourth annual Don Redman Heritage Awards & Concert on Saturday, June 25, at Harpers Ferry National Historical Park.
NEWS
By CANDICE BOSELY | May 26, 2005
MARTINSBURG, W.VA. It was soap that enabled William H. Bell, a former slave who fought in a Northern regiment of black troops during the Civil War, to have his own desk at Storer College in Harpers Ferry, W.Va. "If they needed a desk, by golly, they had to go out and earn it," said Elaine Mauck, co-owner of Crim de la Crim, an antiques consignment shop in downtown Martinsburg. On Friday, if the price is right, Bell's desk will find a new owner. It is one of hundreds of items expected to be auctioned at the store.
NEWS
by JULIE E. GREENE | March 31, 2005
julieg@herald-mail.com HARPERS FERRY, W.Va. - While audience members are listening to the soulful tunes coming out of Red Holloway's saxophone Friday night, he'll be listening for their reaction. "My purpose is to try and make people happy and entertain them. I have to figure out what they like," said Holloway, who has performed with Billie Holiday and Muddy Waters. It takes him two or three tunes to find out. "If (I hear) polite applause, it went over like a lead balloon.
NEWS
by KATE COLEMAN | February 17, 2005
SHEPHERDSTOWN, W.Va. - George Thomas "Sonny" Cohn was born and raised in Chicago. After more than 30 years traveling and playing his trumpet with the Count Basie Orchestra, he retired to his hometown. Cohn, 79, still plays sometimes and said his most recent gig was at a Chicago club about a month ago. He's booked for another - the third annual Jazz Heritage Concert in Shepherdstown, W.Va. At 7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 23, Cohn will share the Clarion Inn Ballroom stage with the Howard Burns Quartet and another legend of jazz, Buster Cooper.
NEWS
by DAVE McMILLION | February 7, 2005
charlestown@herald-mail.com HARPERS FERRY, W.Va. - The year was 1954, and David Henry Cole was breaking racial barriers. That was the year the Jefferson County native started work as an accountant for the tax and finance office in Washington, D.C. At that time, he was only the second black to be employed in that government office. Cole, who spoke Sunday at a Black History Month program in Harpers Ferry, became an investigator in 1966 with the city and his job was to track down corporations that were delinquent in paying taxes.
NEWS
by DON AINES | August 16, 2004
chambersburg@herald-mail.com HARPERS FERRY, W.Va. - It was a precursor to the modern civil rights movement, but a meeting of the Niagara Movement 98 years ago is little remembered today, according to John Powell, a park ranger at Harpers Ferry National Historical Park. Powell hopes a new program at the park will shed light on the role played in the civil rights movement by Harpers Ferry, most famous for abolitionist John Brown's 1859 raid. The first Niagara Movement tours were given Saturday and Sunday.
NEWS
by KATE COLEMAN | June 24, 2004
Harpers Ferry National Historical Park and The Harpers Ferry Historical Association will host the third annual Don Redman Heritage Awards and Concert at 6 p.m. Saturday, June 26, in the West Virginia town. The event will be on the grounds of the Mather Training Center, formerly Storer College, one of the first schools founded to educate freed slaves after the Civil War. It flourished for almost 90 years, and its campus is preserved as part of the park. Redman, a 1920 graduate of Storer College, often was called the "Little Giant of Jazz" because of his small stature - he was 5 feet 4 inches tall - and his huge contribution to the genre.
NEWS
By TAMELA BAKER | May 16, 2004
HARPERS FERRY, W.Va. - The desegregation decision handed down in Brown v. Board of Education resulted in sweeping changes in education and in American society as a whole. But in an intriguing twist of history, it also contributed to the demise of one of the nation's first integrated schools. "It's just something ironically that happened," said Guinevere Roper, a park ranger at Harpers Ferry National Historical Park. Roper regularly tells park visitors about the college that once occupied several buildings on Camp Hill in Harpers Ferry.
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