Juneteenth celebration in Troy


TROY — Troy will celebrates Juneteenth this year on Saturday, June 15 at McKaig Race Park beginning at 3 p.m. A special opening celebration will be held the night before at the Troy-Hayner Cultural Center on Friday, June 14 at 6:30 p.m.

One of the special features of the festival on Saturday is a Juneteenth Walk led by the fabulous T.R.S.S Drum Corps. If you would like to be part of the walk meet at First Place Christian Center at 16 W. Franklin Street at 2:45 p.m. on Saturday, June 15. The drum corps will lead the walk at 3 p.m. and proceed to the McKaig Race Park. The festival begins at 3:30 p.m. and features games, food, entertainment and featured speakers.

The night before the festival, the Hayner Center will host the opening party featuring a very special concert, light hors d’oeuvres and a children’s art exhibit. The concert will feature Mike Wade, a Cincinnati-based jazz trumpet player and band leader. He began his trumpet career as a pre-teen studying at the Duke Ellington School of Arts in D.C., winning a National Symphony Fellowship and a full scholarship at Central State University. He operates a big bunch of exciting bands like Standard Time Quintet, Jazz Mafia, Mike Wade Reality Band, the Mike Wade Big Band and the high-energy Mike Wade Marching Band. His Nasti Nati Brass Band played downtown Troy for the Fridays on Prouty Concert series to great reviews this past summer. Mike has played and recorded with David “Fathead” Newman, Clark Terry, Javon Jackson, Bobby Watson, Gary Bartz, Mulgrew Miller, Rene Marie, Marc Cary, Bill Lee, Ricky Wellman, Bootsy Collins, Reggie Calloway, Teddy Pendergrass, The O’Jays, Maurice, Freddie, and Verdine White of Earth, Wind and Fire, Tom Tom 84, and many more. He has performed on Black Entertainment Television (BET) Jazz Discovery show and WOSU Jazz Voices television series. He is a Cincinnati legend of jazz and was inducted into the Cincinnati Jazz Hall of Fame in 2022.

Wade will be putting together a special “Historic Jazz Band” for Troy, bringing the history of American jazz music. Joining him will be Cincinnati’s Jazz-Hall-of-Famers Melvin Broach on drums and Eugene Goss on vocals. This big, exciting 10-piece band will also include Brenda Flowers on vocals, Maurice Ellis on bass, George Simon on guitar, John Federick on tenor sax, Terry Twitty on trombone, Richard Branham on percussion & Phil DeGreg on piano.

Wade is planning to share the many faces of jazz such as Louis Armstrong, Dizzy Gillespie, Chano Pozo, Duke Ellington, Sara Vaughn, Charlie Parker, John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, Wes Montgomery, Charlie Christian, Kenny Burrell, Papa Joe, Big Sid Catlett, Art Blakey, Max Roach, Count Basie. His passion for the genre will inform his presentation as he plans to explore the many roles that these musicians played in our American history.

Wade says, “We will discuss how jazz musicians were historically regulated by many bad laws that made their travels treacherous but still they managed to plow through, bringing their music to America. For these musicians who persevered, jazz became real employment finally. Even today jazz remains influential, and jazz is the THE SOURCE of so many different things that we are exposed to and decisions we make in our lives. The story of jazz is a uniquely American story and a precious part of our history and daily lives. I want to show all that to you at the Juneteenth Opening Celebration.”

The Juneteenth Opening will be at the Troy-Hayner Cultural Center on Friday, June 14 at 6:30 pm. A special art exhibit curated by the Troy City Schools will be featured in the Art Studio. The theme of the children’s artwork will be:

“Before….During….After: Black examples of excellence before, during and after slavery”

Light hors d’oeuvres will be served at 6:30 p.m. The concert will start at 7 p.m. No reservations or tickets are necessary. The Troy-Hayner Cultural Center is proudly supported by the citizens of the Troy City School District through a local tax levy and generous gifts to the Friends of Hayner. For more information regarding these free events and to receive a complete listing of Hayner Events, please call 937-339-0457 or visit our website at www.TroyHayner.org for complete details.

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