Riding La Carousel to the Black Arts Fest

In the early 1950s, Paschal's Restaurant opened in Atlanta's West End and a colorful history ensued. In addition to its tasty Southern cuisine, Paschal's became re-nowned as a place for leaders of the civil rights movement to gather. La Carousel Lounge was added in the early 1960s, a key stopover for touring jazz artists such as Quincy Jones, Wes Montgomery, Stanley Turrentine and Jimmy Smith.

No better environment exists for the National Coalition of 100 Black Women's Mecca Chapter to hold their annual fundraiser. "Nine Naughty Nights of Jazz," held July 28 through August 5, is a peripheral event to this year's National Black Arts Festival. "We wanted to bring attention back to this legendary place where so many of our top African-American musicians and vocalists shared their crafts with us," says Jae Delsarte, the Mecca Chapter's chair of the arts. No doubt, the music will be the perfect way to end a day of viewing the richly diverse art exhibits featured during the NBAF.

The intimate, 200-seat La Carousel Lounge has that classy, heyday-of-Harlem ambiance, sure to inspire and ignite the host of jazz, R&B, Latin and gospel talent slat- ed to perform. The solid lineup includes Atlanta's own Swing Association, featuring pianist Gary Motley and guitarist Jacques Lesure; Life Force, fronted by local saxophonists Joe Jennings and Howard Nicholson; Delores Majors, guitarist of the Rhapsody Chic Quartet; Cliff Lee & Friends, straight-ahead jazz from Brooklyn, N.Y.; gospel stylist and former Gladys Knight "Pip," Langston George; Atlanta R&B vocalist, Joi; plus others.

Ticket donations for "Nine Naughty Nights of Jazz" are $15 in advance and $20 at the door, with shows nightly, at 7 p.m. and 11 p.m. Proceeds will benefit the Mecca Chapter's Little Ladies of Mecca, an elementary and middle school youth mentoring program.

Full coverage of The National Black Arts Festival.

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