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JCTX Jazz & Art Festival

May 20, 2023

Memorial Park - 105 E. Main Street, Johnson City, TX

Sarah Sharp

3:00 - 4:30 pm

“Sharp is an enchanting vocalist, with an upper register that can dish out sweet and sassy tones in equal measure.” - Austin-American Statesman

Sarah Sharp is a multiple Austin Music Award-winning songwriter and jazz singer. Her album Phoebe’s Dream was featured on NPR’s Song Travels with Michael Feinstein, who suggested that her original songs were destined to become part of the Great American Songbook. Sarah’s songs have been featured worldwide in ad campaigns for Chanel, Dell, Kia, and E.L.F. cosmetics, and on TV shows, such as The Good Wife, Grandfathered, Revenge, and Netflix’s Cable Girls.

Ephraim Owens

5:00 - 6:30 pm

Owens was born on November 5, 1972 in Dallas, Texas. His mother, Mary Owens, loved to sing and his father, John Owens, was an avid fan of blues music. When Owens was eight years old, he began playing the trumpet. Through both elementary school and middle school, Owens played classical music. In high school, however, he began playing jazz music.

Owens attended the prestigious Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts. Many students would later become professional jazz musicians, like pianist Fred Sanders, saxophonists Keith Anderson and Keith Loftis, and trumpeters Whitney Russel and Roy Hargrove. The famous Roy Hargrove got Owens interested in playing jazz music professionally.

After Owens graduated high school, he attended Weatherford Community College for two years. During this time, Owens began to play in clubs in the Dallas and Fort Worth area. After, he enrolled in Southwest Texas State and joined the University’s jazz band. In 1994, the band went on a trip to Europe and played at both the North Sea and Montreux Jazz Festivals.

In his pursuit to become a professional trumpeter, he moved to Austin in 1996. Since then, Owens has played for various jazz groups, including the King Valentine’s Octet, the Texas Eastside Kings, the Night of Cookers and Concerto Grosso and the Texas Trumpets. Owens has performed at many of Austin’s clubs, such as Speakeasy, Antone’s, Sullivan’s, the Flamingo Cantina and Reed’s Jazz Club. He has also performed around the world, such as the Montreal Jazz Festival, Switzerland, New Amsterdam, Barcelona, Taiwan and other parts of Asia.

Pamela Hart

7:00 - 8:30 pm

Regarded as Austin, Texas’ finest jazz vocalist and noted by Austin Women’s Magazine as “Austin’s First Lady of Jazz,” audiences rave about Pamela’s excellent pitch, clarity and soothing vocal quality. Her warm, clear tones and meticulously controlled pitch carry an illusion of effortlessness. Pamela’s sultry rendition of classic jazz standards, smooth jazz, and contemporary & R&B music wins immediate acceptance by any audience.

Professional, unique, & captivating... the Pamela Hart performs locally, regionally, and nationally for Concerts, Festivals, Weddings, Corporate Events, Banquets, Night Clubs, and studio recording sessions. Pamela and her quartet band have repeatedly opened shows for, and shared stages with, many popular artists, including Miss Nancy Wilson, David ‘Fathead’ Newman, Dianne Reeves, Nat Adderley, Jr., Kirk Whalum, Rachelle Ferrell, Patrice Rushen, Teri Lyn Carrington, Norman Brown & Richard Elliot, Jazz in Pink with Gail Jhonson, Bobbi Humphrey, Althea Rene, Jeanette Harris, Carmen Bradford, Kyle Turner, Jazmin Ghent, Tatiana Mayfield, Michael Ward, and many more.

In addition to regular appearances in local and regional venues, Pamela and her husband Kevin C. Hart have produced the annual Women in Jazz Concert Series in Austin, TX since 1994-to-date. The series also includes a youth concert series and a vocal performance workshop where Pamela  and other professional vocalists and musicians share performance techniques, communicating with musicians and teaching many other aspects of singing jazz. She is the co-founder of the Women in Jazz Association, Inc., a 501(c)(3) organization, to keep jazz alive. She is also on the Board of Directors of the Texas Music Museum.

Pamela’s latest CD album released on May 1, 2021 titled “Happy Talk" is currently available online and in various local stores. The “Happy Talk” CD is a collection of her favorite songs, most of which she heard growing up in Los Angeles, CA. It’s Pamela’s smooth vocals and personal approach to each song that grabs you and keeps you listening. This album takes you back to her good old days.

Pamela’s appreciation for the great masters of jazz and R&B is apparent in her intonation, grace and style. She is also a vocal coach and loves educational music youth programs. She was inducted in the Austin Jazz Society Hall of Fame in April 2018. On September 1, 2020, she received the Malindy Award (honoring the Paul Lawrence Dunbar poem “When Malindy Sings”) from the JR Cumberbatch Productions, "If These Walls Could Talk" team, and preceded with many other awards and noteworthy recognitions.

Nothing has stopped Pamela’s passion to perform jazz and keep it alive! Sheltered but not stifled during Covid-19 (pre-vaccination period), she had been live streaming a weekly Sunday House Concert Series on Facebook & YouTube since March 26, 2020, including live streaming shows at Parker Jazz Club in Austin. In 2021-to-date, Pamela and the band continue to carry out quality performances in the area. Pamela had become a usual International Association for Jazz Education (IAJE) attendee and performer with the African American Jazz Caucus Band in New York City, Long Beach, CA, and Toronto, Canada. Earlier in her career, Pamela completed European jazz festival tours, including the Montreux Jazz Festival and the Vienne and Juan des Pins Jazz festivals, with the Texas State University Jazz Band, directed by the legendary Dr. James Polk. In August 2022, Pamela visited Montreal, CN for public stage appearances during her stay there, and the audiences were amazed at her performances.

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