Callanwolde’s Summer Concert Series “Jazz on the Lawn” Returns for 2017
Callanwolde’s Jazz on the Lawn showcases a lineup of Atlanta’s finest jazz treasures performing a mix of classic and contemporary jazz, swing, salsa, fusion, smooth and blues, in a perfect setting for summer outdoor concerts.
Jazz on the Lawn is a great way to spend time with friends, unwind, and listen to an evening of live music. Guests are invited to bring a blanket and a picnic and enjoy these concerts surrounded by the natural beauty of the Callanwolde Amphitheater.
Line Up: 2017
- June 16th: Rhonda Thomas
- June 30th: Joe Gransden
- July 14th: Joey “Papa J” Sommerville
- July 28th: Virginia Schenck and Free Planet Radio
- August 11th: Bob Baldwin
Doors open at 6:30 PM.
Concerts begin at 7:30 PM.
Concerts conclude at 9:00 PM.
- General Admission Lawn: $20 online/$25 at the door. We can only accept credit/debit cards at the door.
- VIP Table for Four: $200 by advance reservation only.
- VIP Tables for Six: $300 by advance reservation only.
- VIP Tables for Eight: $400 by advance reservation only.
Season tickets are also available! Buy season tickets here and save. Season tickets are only available online!
General Admission: Bring a lawn chair or a blanket and enjoy the show from the lawn surrounding Callanwolde’s amphitheater. Chairs are not provided. Seating is unassigned- come early and claim the best spot!
VIP Tables: Enjoy the show in style at a VIP Table for you and your party. We provide the tables and chairs. Tables are located on the first few tiers of Callanwolde’s amphitheater- the best seats in the house!
Parking is free and on-site for VIP Table guests and on a first come, first serve basis for General Admission guests. Additional parking is available across the street at Atlanta Metro Cathedral (999 Briarcliff Road NE, Atlanta, GA, 30306).
Food and Drink
Outside food and beverage is allowed at Jazz on the Lawn. We will have a cash bar on-site (serving beer, wine, water, snacks, and soft drinks). There will be food for sale provided by Sun In My Belly.
June 16th: Rhonda Thomas
A New York City native and Atlanta, GA resident who performs nationally and internationally, Rhonda’s natural talent, professional drive, and amazing charisma have
landed her in the presence of greatness many times and has opened numerous doors for her. She has performed or shared the stage with Luther Vandross, Roberta Flack, The String Cheese Incident, Roy Ayers, Frank McComb, Dwele, Eric Roberson, Avery Sunshine and Sam Moore (of the legendary duo Sam and Dave) just to name a few. With her enchanting voice, Rhonda has stamped her name on the hearts of all that have witnessed her singing live.
From bringing the roof down in Atlanta’s Tabernacle when she sang with Incognito’s powerhouse lead-singer Maysa Leak, to winning multiple awards in Harlem’s Apollo Theater, to the 1996 Olympic Games crowds have fallen under the powerful spell of Rhonda’s bold vocal styling. Rhonda’s talents were also experienced by listeners on the other side of the globe. Her 2007 UK “Breathe New Life” Tour was met with glowing reviews. Rhonda was also asked to compose a song for Antigua-Barbuda’s Travel and Tourism “365 Beaches”. Her boundless energy on stage enchants crowds as her voice exudes power and passion executed with precision. She hails from the Atlanta underground soul scene having performed with renowned artist India.Arie, Donnie (Motown), and is a member of the soul bossa group, Jiva. She wears her influences like an elegant gown draped with the improvisational skill and vocal acrobatics of Sarah Vaughn and Al Jarreau, and the depth and emotional effectiveness of Phyllis Hyman and Chaka Khan.
June 30th: Joe Gransden
At 42 Years old, Joe Gransden has already performed worldwide and released 14 CDs under his own name. Renowned first for the hard bop approach of his trumpet, Gransden’s singing voice has been compared to that of Chet Baker and Frank Sinatra.
“When I first heard Joe nine years ago, I immediately thought of Chet,” says Jazziz magazine critic James Rozzi, “but lately his voice has taken on its own style with a deeper resonance. His trumpet has always alternated lyricism with an aggressive, angular approach. He has the ability to cover the gamut of emotions.”
July 14th: Joey “Papa J” Sommerville
As we mature, we are ourselves only more so. Welcome to the World of Papa J.
On a cold night way back in 2015, an iconic contemporary jazz trumpet player named Joey Sommerville started to peel back yet another layer of his Being and Artistry. Never one to abandon his musical vision and integrity, Joey was hearing another kind of music in his head.
This was New Music. It was informed in part by his years of performing with blues legends and jam band superstars. It was a homecoming, as the years spent with B.B. King protégé Big Joe Burrell and working with the megaband Phish mingled with the contemporary jazz years, while always including the early influences of Rock, R&B, Gospel, and Classic Blues. It was time to say something Bigger, something New, something Authentic to the moment. Out of this creative primordial soup, Papa J was born.
Musically ready to tell it like it is, he’s speaking his mind. Ready to entertain, stir you to action, make you dance, cry, laugh, or just nod your head, he’s here. REALLY here.
Just telling it like it is, Papa J style.
July 28th: “VA” Virginia Schenck and Free Planet Radio
Vocalist Virginia Schenck has studied and performed music since her childhood. Using the stage name VA, she has released three albums that showcase her developing artistry. Schenck was raised in Florida and attended Florida State University’s prestigious School of Music. While her degree was in Music Therapy, she studied jazz, piano, voice and dance. Her early love of jazz was enriched through a friendship with drummer Jaimoe, founding member of the Allman Brothers Band. In 2007, she had the opportunity to work with Bobby McFerrin and Rhiannon in New York, and over the next three years, continued her studies with both musicians, expanding the scope of her work. “Singing Darwin” at VA Tech, “The Gift” in New York and Seattle, private concerts in Rome, Italy, historic St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Dublin, IR and the South’s top jazz clubs where Schenck maintains a jazz band of the region’s finest, are but a few highlights of her robust career. Whether she is known by her birth name or as VA, Virginia Schenck can soothe her audience with a beautiful ballad, invigorate them with a re-imagined standard and challenge them with a powerful blast of free improvisation. All of these aspects exist within one singular and unique voice.
Lured by the luscious world sounds and immense palette of Free Planet Radio, VA began working with this group in 2015, in addition to her own jazz band. Ever pushing the envelope in search for unique sounds and blends, VA and Free Planet Radio combine to present a unique combination on standards, not-so-standards, and original material.
Free Planet Radio
World Trio, Free Planet Radio, maintain the shared vision of three multi-instrumentalists exploring the infinite and seamless relationships between musical cultures through the universal language of sound. Based in Asheville, NC their performances expertly weave the improvisatory element of jazz, and the subtleties and harmonic vocabulary of Western classical music, with Middle Eastern, Indian and North African melodic and rhythmic structures. They have performed with jazz vocalist Lizz Wright and poet Robert Bly, among others, and in 2016 traveled to the People’s Republic of China for a 20 city tour of their finest concert halls. FPR consists of two-time Grammy winner Eliot Wadopian leaping effortlessly between rhythm and melody on electric and string basses; River Guerguerian on an extensive array of global percussion instruments including Middle Eastern frame drums and doumbek, the Indian kanjira, African djembe, and Western drum set; and Chris Rosser exploring melody on the 17-stringed Indian dotar, Turkish cumbus oud, guitar, piano and melodica.
August 11th: Bob Baldwin
Across a career for which a two decade milestone was achieved in 2013 with his twentieth CD Twenty, Bob Baldwin has proven to be one of the most ubiquitous and ingenious chameleons of Contemporary Jazz – both in his own projects and those he has endeavored upon for others. Recently, he has twice honored the canons of giants: Never Can Say Goodbye: A Tribute to Michael Jackson (2010) and Betcha By Golly Wow / The Songs of Thom Bell (2012).
For 2015, Baldwin turns to the sprawling catalog of Stevie Wonder to create one of his finest projects ever: MelloWonder: Songs in the Key of Stevie – an unprecedented one-from-the-heart that has taken him two years to lovingly assemble.
In addition to his work as a musician, Bob Baldwin hosts a nationally syndicated weekly radio show (‘The NewUrbanJazz Lounge’ broadcast across the African American Public Radio Service and the Internet) and author of the music biz E-book “You Better Ask Somebody (Staying On Top of Your Career in the ‘Friggin’ Music Business)” (2011).
With help from the following sponsors, Callanwolde is able to accomplish its mission of preserving the historic Candler Estate and offering fine arts and outreach to the community.
Annual Diamond Level Sponsor
Annual Platinum Level Sponsor
Annual Gold Level Sponsor
Friend Level Support of the Jazz on the Lawn Concert Series