I met a very interesting fellow who gave me some interesting news when I was out at the East St. Tammany Chamber Cultural Economy luncheon.

Wil Bias, and his wife Diane, have already scheduled the first annual Camellia City Smooth Jazz Fest for Slidell next year on Oct. 7, 2017, to be held at the Northshore Harbor Center.

Wil told me that he and his wife had always been interested in jazz music, more specifically what he calls “smooth jazz.” They have always sought out concerts and shows with great jazz music and finally decided to create a few shows of their own in New Orleans over recent years.

In 2005 they started the Jin Jeans Supper Club in New Orleans, which was a venue in New Orleans for live music. They got Peoples Health behind another show and began concerts at what they called a jazz market in the city, hosting a five month run of shows.

The New Orleans shows included local performers as well as national names.

Since the couple moved to Slidell in 1999 they began to consider the idea of bringing smooth jazz music to the North Shore and have now scheduled the first Camellia City Smooth Jazz Fest for the Harbor Center next fall.

Wil told me their hope is to “make Slidell the smooth jazz festival center.”

The idea of Wil and his wife creating a smooth jazz festival for Slidell is incredible as a premier musical event for the city that we certainly hope will grow to be huge in years to come.

Good luck to Wil and Diane for next year’s first Camellia City Smooth Jazz Fest.

 

By: Kevin Chiri

The Slidell Independent (9/22/2016)

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