Jazz Pioneers Come Alive for Free Concert at Tryon Palace

Longtime band director leads performers in tribute May 21 

The halls of the North Carolina History Center in historic downtown New Bern will echo with the sounds of jazz greats like Louis Armstrong and Fats Waller beginning at 7 p.m., Thursday, May 21.  

Charles Richberg, retired Kinston High School band director and music teacher, will bring young and veteran musicians to Cullman Performance Hall to perform familiar classics celebrating those pioneering African-American jazz artists like Scott Joplin, Joe “King” Oliver, Edward “Kid” Ory and more.  

Though they were deprived of voting rights, excluded from labor unions, oppressed by segregation and harassed by mob violence, the African Americans of the Jazz Age distinguished themselves to win the esteem of their fellow Americans and jazz artists.  

Richberg, a local musician with the Kinston Community Arts Council jazz program, dedicated his career to music education and spent 34 years teaching music and directing band students within Lenoir County Public Schools. 
The Tryon Palace African American Lecture Series offers a free, new program on the third Thursday of each month. All performances begin at 7 p.m. in Cullman Performance Hall and are free, thanks to a generous donation from the Harold H. Bate Foundation. 
Special hearing devices are available if needed. Contact Tryon Palace 48 hours in advance of the performance to make arrangements.