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Free Plaza Concerts Start Saturday

Big band classics, Latin jazz and contemporary country rock are the free concerts held on Douglasville’s O’Neal Plaza in Sept.

The is pleased to present its annual Fall Concerts on the Plaza at the in historic downtown Douglasville on Saturday, Sept. 8, Saturday, Sept. 15, and Saturday, Sept. 22.  All evening performances begin at 7 p.m. The 2012 spring series showcases Atlanta Seventeen‘s big band classics, Latin Jazz by Count M'Butu’s Orchestra featuring Graciela Lopez, and contemporary country rock PARIS LUNA. Supported by the and the , these special outdoor events are free and open to the general public. Ample free parking is available near O’Neal Plaza. Listeners are reminded to bring their own seating.

On the first Saturday of the fall series, Sept. 8, ATLANTA SEVENTEEN, widely recognized as one of the metro Atlanta area’s finest big band groups, will take listeners on a musical excursion by recreating the smooth and stylized arrangements from the name bands of yesteryear. The band is a unique group of business and professional executives, successful in their individual vocations by day, who perform as talented musicians by night. ATLANTA SEVENTEEN, organized as a non-profit corporation, has donated a substantial portion of the proceeds of many appearances since the year 1960 to more than 50 worthy local and national organizations and foundations.

Big band enthusiasts of all ages will identify with the kind of excitement generated only by precision playing. The blended reeds, strong but subtle brass and pulsating rhythm section speak with a cohesion and unity rarely heard these days. ATLANTA SEVENTEEN has been featured in the ballrooms of the Hyatt Regency, Ritz-Carlton, Westin Lenox, Hyatt Ravinia, Marriott and other fine hotels; at country clubs such as the Piedmont Driving Club, Atlanta Country Club, Cherokee Towne Club, Atlanta Athletic Club; and at special events and conventions held at the Fox Theatre, World Congress Center and the Omni. The band has performed throughout the Southeast including at Asheville's renowned Grove Park Inn. In presenting their fine music, the group has even discovered a current generation of fans in high schools and colleges avidly following their parents in appreciating the big band sound, such as the Georgia Tech Swing Dance Association. 

The second Saturday, Sept. 15, presents Count M'Butu’s Orchestra with Argentinian- born vocalist Graciela Lopez. In the late eighties, the Count met and worked with local underground legend Colonel Bruce Hampton, and other well-known musicians like the infamous Frank Zappa and Chuck Leavell of Allman Brothers Band fame. The first time Hampton met the Count, he proclaimed that he would be called Count M’Butu. Five years of the Count’s career were dedicated to recording and touring with the Colonel and his avant-garde Aquarium Rescue Unit. The band played in front of thousands of fans all over the U.S. and was a staple on The HORDE Tour, along with bands like Blues Traveler and The Spin Doctors. They garnered critical acclaim from their peers and critics alike. In 1995, the band broke-up and the Count pursued a solo career. During this time the Count was recording for Warner/Capricorn Records. He, along with Graciela Lopez and Harry Case, began working on the making of SEE THE SUN. The album is a variety of melodious jazz rhythms that include a unique and inventive fusion of African and Latin sounds.

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