Downtown concert, car show to kick off season Saturday
by Matt Shinall
Apr 12, 2012 | 2450 views | 0 0 comments | 18 18 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The Summer Concert Series will kick off on Saturday with a performance from the Etowah Jazz Society and hundreds of cars participating in the Tom Clayton Memorial Car Cruize.
SKIP BUTLER/The Daily Tribune News, File
The Summer Concert Series will kick off on Saturday with a performance from the Etowah Jazz Society and hundreds of cars participating in the Tom Clayton Memorial Car Cruize. SKIP BUTLER/The Daily Tribune News, File
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Downtown Cartersville will welcome a crowd of visitors Saturday as the annual summer concert series and car show returns.

Hundreds of cars, both new and old, will ride into town for the Tom Clayton Memorial Car Cruize before the Etowah Jazz Society performs for those in attendance.

Organizers with the Cartersville Downtown Development Authority are hoping for a large turnout for the season's first event landing on a busy weekend and postponed due to the Easter holiday -- downtown concerts and car shows are typically held the first Saturday of each month.

"We are definitely kicking it off this Saturday, the 14th. Usually, we start the first Saturday of each month. May, June and August will be the first Saturday," said DDA Special Events Coordinator Loretta Brown, turning focus away from the event itself and toward area businesses instead.

"Our main focus has been to get shoppers in the downtown area, not only to come down to the events but to go down to the different shops here in downtown and to support the shops. So, we're hoping that it draws more revenue for the businesses."

Musical entertainment will be provided by the Etowah Jazz Society, a nonprofit formed by a local group of musicians. Musical Director Saunders Jones Jr. gave an insight to the music selection for Saturday's performance.

"It's a big band so it's your standard big band tunes. I've tried to put some '50s and '60s rock 'n roll in there because it's going to be at the car show. So we're going to start out with 'Green Onions,' which everyone knows from 'American Graffiti' and then we're going to start doing some regular standards. Then we'll put some Maynard Ferguson and Buddy Rich tunes in there," Jones said. "We'll do a little straight ahead jazz and some tunes that everyone knows, maybe some Lionel Richie or Frank Sinatra. ... It won't be a whole lot of Glenn Miller, we'll do more modern stuff."

Songs and compositions familiar to many in attendance will include "Me and Mrs. Jones," "Hit the Road Jack" and the theme from "American Bandstand."

With 17 to 20 band members, the Etowah Jazz Society is accompanied by four rotating singers. The group performs for the enjoyment of music and to fund local school band programs and college scholarships.

"Everybody loves music. Music is something that's got to be shared and it's kind of universal. Everybody who's in this group loves what they do," Jones said. "We're a group of local musicians who basically love to play music together and we have a great time."

The Tom Clayton Memorial Car Cruize will run from 5 to 8 p.m. in downtown Cartersville and the Etowah Jazz Society will perform from 7 to 9 p.m. at Friendship Plaza. There is no charge for admission.

May's concert will feature The Sock Hops specializing in songs from the '50s, '60s and '70s; June's concert is still to be announced; and music from Babe's Bayou will finish out the season in August.