Middlesex County and our local community have been blessed with the musical genius of Sherman Holmes, Jr., a founding member and survivor of the Holmes Brothers.

On September 21, 2019, Sherman will lend his vocal and bassist virtuosity as the headliner of the Middlesex Museum and Historical Society’s Autumn Jazz Fest. Along with Holmes and other performers, many well known in our area, the Jazz Fest will feature two up- and- coming young artists.

Leah Drummond is performing for the first time in the River Realm. Born and raised in Richmond, Virginia, Leah has been singing and playing the piano since the age of six. She began singing in church and continued her vocal journey in advanced ensembles in middle and high school. Leah participated in All Girls Show Choir, Mixed Show Choir, and a Chamber Ensemble at Manchester High School. It was with these choirs where she received the opportunity to perform at Disney World’s Epcot Center and Universal Studios Hardrock Café. She also traveled to New York City and performed at Lincoln Center. Leah went on to study music at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia where she graduated Cum Laude and received her Bachelor of Arts in Music Education with a concentration on vocal performance. She is currently studying to earn a master’s degree at Johns Hopkin’s Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore while working as a music teacher in the Baltimore County School system.

Another young performer also comes to the Jazz Fest stage from Chesterfield County, but has local family roots. Kevin Epps is the grandson of the late Monroe Jarvis and Rosetta Jarvis of Saluda, Virginia, and the late Webster Epps, Sr. and Muriel Epps of West Point, Virginia.

He began his musical career in middle school having to choose an elective in the sixth grade and decided on band. Kevin was assigned the clarinet even though he really wanted to play the drums. When the teacher offered students the opportunity to audition for the saxophone Kevin decided to give it a try. Upon entering high school, he joined the marching band and the show band which played for Broadway musical style productions.

In addition, he plays regularly at his church, Tabernacle Baptist, in Chesterfield, with the National Deacons Convention band at their yearly conferences around the US, and any other time he can.

Kevin currently is a third-year undergraduate student at Bridgewater College where he is majoring in physics with a minor in music performance. While at college he has been a member of the pep band, the symphony, the jazz band, and the saxophone ensemble.

Joining Sherman, Leah and Kevin onstage at the Jazz Festival will be area musicians Chris Gresham, Walker Andrew, Cynthia Honablue, and Rick Jessie.

Interspersed with the cool jazz music will be the sultry poetry performance of Miss Pinkie Holmes.

Another seasoned performer, Robert Gillison (also known as DJ Ghost), is shedding his usual role as disc jockey and joining the other artists by offering his smooth jazz instrumental skills.

The Autumn Jazz Fest will be held on Saturday, September 21, 2019, at the Christ Church Parish Hall, 56 Christchurch Lane, off General Puller Highway in Saluda.

Doors open at 6 p.m. and performances are from 7 to 10 p.m.

There will be a cash bar with an array of wine and beer available. The complimentary hors d’oeuvres that will be served will be made by Jeffrey Scott, a local caterer.

For more information call (804) 539-2791.

Tickets are $25 and can be purchased online HERE or in person at the Middlesex Museum on Saturdays.

A limited number of tickets will be available the night of the Jazz Fest, but it is highly recommended that you call and reserve your tickets before September 21.

Proceeds of the Autumn Jazz Fest will be used for on-going support of the Middlesex Museum and Historical Society.