The shade of trees and notes of cool jazz helped locals fight off 95-degree heat at an event celebrating the area’s ties to music greats.
More than 400 people attended Saturday’s first Hillsborough Jazz Festival. The event featured seven local musical groups, food and an appreciation of jazz workshop.
“It brought out a real broad spectrum of the community,” said Tinka Jordy, chairwoman of the Hillsborough Arts Council.
“We’re really happy that we got the support we did for our first-time event.”
The festival’s theme was “Celebrating Billy Strayhorn,” who worked with jazz musician Duke Ellington for decades and had family connections in Hillsborough.
“We had a festival for him years ago honoring him, and we just thought it would be time to do it again,” Jordy said.
The arts council organized the event with James Hester, former recreation services director for Orange County Parks and Recreation, as a replacement for the formerly annual Cool Jazz Festival.
The original event, which ran from 2004 to 2008, drew more than 5,000 people in its final year but didn’t happen in 2009 due to budget cuts.
Hester said he created the festival in response to the large number of jazz fans in the area and will continue to promote local jazz appreciation through this festival.