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Jagged Edge to headline Juneteenth

Superior Court Judge Milton F. “Toby” Fitch, Jr. to serve as keynote speaker


Rocky Mount, N.C.-The R&B group, Jagged Edge, will headline the city’s Juneteenth Community Empowerment Festival. Known for chart-topping hits like “Let’s Get Married,” “Promise,” “He Can’t Love U” and more, Jagged Edge began their career in 1995.

“It’s always exciting to have successful groups like Jagged Edge provide entertainment for the citizens of Rocky Mount,” says Special Events Coordinator Susan Ball. “The city staff, Juneteenth Planning Committee and the Community Empowerment Association all work diligently to ensure that Juneteenth is a popular event which caters to everyone.”

While Jagged Edge will be the headlining act on Saturday, June 4, Juneteenth is a two-day event, featuring live jazz on Friday, June 3 from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. The Stephen Pender Band and the Generation NeXt Band will be the featured acts. On Saturday, June 4, Juneteenth continues from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Entertainment acts will include the 7th Hour Groove Band, Salvation and Deliverance Choir, the Kenya Safari Acrobats and much more. The emcees will be Les Long and Lamar Blakney. A Bike Rodeo will also take place. 

Although entertainment is a major part of the Juneteenth celebration, it’s not the only facet. Superior Court Judge Milton F. “Toby” Fitch, Jr. will serve as this year’s keynote speaker. Fitch was the first African American in the state to preside over the House, the first majority whip, and the first African American to be elected House majority leader.

Fitch was elected Superior Court judge in 2001. He is a native of Wilson, N.C. and a graduate of North Carolina Central University where he received his Bachelor of Science degree and his Juris Doctorate.

“Juneteenth is about more than just entertainment, and we want attendees to recognize that,” says Greg Royal, chair of the Juneteenth Planning Committee. “Juneteenth is the oldest known celebration recognizing the end of slavery, and the commemoration of that event has taken place since the 19th century. So, during Juneteenth, we also provide information about why this celebration is so significant.” 

For more information about Juneteenth, call 252-972-1151. For the schedule of events, visit


NC Spotlight:

Percy Heath

Percy Heath was an American jazz bassist, brother to tenor saxophonist Jimmy Heath and drummer Albert Heath, with whom he formed the Heath Brothers in 1975. Heath played with the Modern Jazz Quartet throughout their long history and also worked with Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker, Wes Montgomery and Thelonious Monk.

Heath was born in Wilmington, North Carolina, and spent his childhood in Philadelphia. His father played the clarinet and his mother sang in the church choir. He started playing violin at the age of eight and also sang locally. He was drafted into the Army in 1944, becoming a member of the Tuskegee Airmen, but saw no combat.

Deciding after the war to go into music, he bought a stand-up bass and enrolled in the Granoff School of Music in Philadelphia. Soon he was playing in the city's jazz clubs with leading artists. In Chicago in 1948, he recorded with his brother on a Milt Jackson album as members of the Howard McGhee Sextet.[1] After moving to New York in the late 1940s, Percy and Jimmy Heath found work with Dizzy Gillespie's groups. Around this time, he was also a member of Joe Morris's band, together with Johnny Griffin.

It transpired that other members of the Gillespie big band, pianist John Lewis, drummer Kenny Clarke, Milt Jackson, and bassist Ray Brown, decided to form a permanent group; they were already becoming known for their interludes during Gillespie band performances that, as says, gave the rest of the band much-needed set breaks---that would eventually become known as the Modern Jazz Quartet (MJQ). When Brown left the group to join his wife Ella Fitzgerald's band, Heath joined and the group was officially begun in 1952, with Connie Kay replacing Clarke soon afterward. The MJQ played regularly until it disbanded in 1974; it reformed in 1981 and last recorded in 1993.

In 1975, Percy Heath and his brothers formed the Heath Brothers with pianist Stanley Cowell. He would sometimes play the cello instead of the bass in these later performances.

In 2003, at the age of 80, Heath released his first album as bandleader through the Daddy Jazz label. The album, entitled A Love Song, garnered rave reviews and served as a fitting coda for his illustrious career. It featured brother Albert Heath on drums, bassist Peter Washington and pianist Jeb Patton.

Read more at Wikipedia:


Percy Heath on Youtube:

Mountain Artisans Shows "Where all the good artist are" 

      The Mountain Artisans shows are famous for featuring just the biggest selection of authentic handcrafted art and craft in this area.

     Mountain Artisans promotes two events each year.  The "Summertime" show is held the last week of June  The "Hard Candy Christmas", a Mountain Christmas Tradition, is always the Friday and Saturday after Thanksgiving. 

 Both events are held inside in the Western Carolina University Ramsey Center in scenic Cullowhee, North Carolina.

It is centrally located only 45 miles southwest of Asheville;  just minutes from The Great Smoky Mountains.

 In November ,the best chainsaw sculpture around will be  out there , skillfully shaping amazing bears and signs

.  Each exhibitor at these shows are carefully screened to be the best in their field.  

You can  purchase original art  and meet the artist who made it!

There is a wide selection of heritage craft . Several of the old time quilters still make them one at a time just for you.  Goat milk soap, pine needle baskets, white oak baskets, hand tied brooms and cotton woven rugs are hard to find and all we try to feature them all  from show to show .

Some of the most skilled  doll craft, leather craft, and master jewelers around exhibit with us. Many of the Gourd artists have won awards in competitions.

 Shoppers love the Folk Art , one of a kind birdhouses, and designer fabric  purses . We have just the best artists in  pottery and clay art.

  Ronnie Evans is our live guitar strummer. He plays the songs we remember  courting to . At Christmas , he brings good memories with carols that we do not hear much .  

It is worth the drive to get here.

You will understand why everyone who attends our shows just says : "Wow" when they attend and plan to come back next year! 



Join us for the 20th annual N.C. Peach Festival proudly held every year on the 3rd Saturday in July, downtown Candor, NC. The parade begins at 10:00 a.m. with a wonderful showing of local floats, firetrucks, and other fun parade entrants. Afterwards, stroll down to Fitzgerald Park where the rest of the festivities are located. Bring your lawn chairs, sit back, relax, and enjoy the best live entertainment around. There are always lots of fresh, sweet, local peaches, arts & crafts, and of course, the best homemade peach ice cream in the Great State of North Carolina!

Grown-ups and kids alike, can enjoy an abundance of vendors and activities including: Bounce Houses, Petting Zoo, Camel Rides, Gyro Ride, Mechanical Bull, Gaming Trailer, Bungee Trampoline, Pony Rides, Helicopter Rides, Rock Wall, Putt-Putt, and so much more!!!

This year, the N.C. Peach Festival will feature an awesome line-up of live entertainment including: Jim Quick & Coastline, The Sand Band, Rockin' Acoustix, and the McKenzie Brothers. We look forward to seeing you on SATURDAY, JULY 16TH, 2016 FROM 10:00AM - 5:00PM!

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In this week's newsletter, we continue our series featuring several excellent and entertaining documentaries that feature NC culture and folk arts.  These films are available to view online, for free, and recognize our unique culture and heritage.


Sitting On Top of the World at the Fiddlers' Convention: Union Grove

The fiddlers' convention at Union Grove is the oldest bluegrass music festival of the U.S., held in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. Presents both contemporary and traditional performances of American mountain music and dance, including many selections on the banjo and dulcimer. This film documents the intense hippy-ness of this festival during the 1970s.

View the entire film here:,309

Some of North Carolina’s greatest treasures can be found off the beaten path. You never know what you might find... an old-time general store, local artisan, or simply a picturesque view that takes your breath away. You’ll be swept away by the untouched natural landscape found on the backroads of this rural county.

In Anson County, you can discover all that and more. Come. Visit. Surround yourself with the beauty of North Carolina’s best kept secret.



Please support our Wounded Warriors

Hands Together is a nonprofit organization devoted to educating, inspiring and encouraging people to understand the importance of responding to the needs of the poor and disadvantaged. Our Mission, as we strive to build a more compassionate and human world, proceeds from the spiritual belief that we are all members of one, equal, interconnected family under a loving God.



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