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Event of the Week, Holidays

Event of the Week: An MLK Holiday Jazz Affair

By Lance Trebesch February 10, 2014

Rhonda Jeter and Friends Celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. with Jazz Favorites and Dance Numbers

January 19th was a day for celebration at An MLK Holiday Jazz Affair, held at Busboys and Poets in Hyattsville, MD, outside of Washington D.C. The night was not only just a cool way to celebrate the Martin Luther King., Jr. holiday, but it was also was a great way to take in some new jazz sounds and dance performances.

MLK eventRhonda Jeter, the event’s host and singer, spoke more about the event.  “I sang standard and smooth jazz tunes as well as some R&B,” she said.  “I had a jazz trio (pianist, bassist, and drummer) that backed me up and two background singers.” Jeter and the band, known as Rhonda Jeter and Friends, perform slinky jazz standards as well as Brazilian, pop, and R&B songs. The event also had two surprises. “As a special attraction, I also had a modern dancer perform two dance numbers,” she said. She also added that there were three door prize drawings for patrons in attendance.

To promote the event, Jeter used several different methods.  “I printed flyers, did mailings, emails, and by word of mouth,” she said. “I placed flyers at the venue and passed them out at jazz performances.  I think all of the strategies worked well.”

Jeter’s event was very successful and was an exceptional way to celebrate the birthday of a Civil Rights leader. “The event went very well,” she said. “I was in competition with the NFL playoffs, so I was nervous about the turn-out,” she said. “In the end, many people purchased tickets at the door and it ended up being about 80 people strong!”

The entire event was one that Jeter and patrons loved to be a part of. “The best part of the event is always how much fun it is to perform on stage,” she continued.  “Also, I really liked the feedback from the attendees. Everyone said they loved it!  A pleasant surprise was the skill to which the dancer performed.”

If you’re planning on creating an event like Jeter’s, she has some advice that could help you during your planning stages. “My advice would be to research the date of the event and try to avoid conflicts with other events,” she said.  “Also, allow significant time to prepare in order to decrease stress.  Because of the holidays, I only had about two weeks to pull everything together and it was stressful.  However, in the end it was all worth it.”