Harding’s Arts and Life and Searcy Beats and Eats have partnered up to present Java & Jazz, happening tomorrow night, Oct. 9. Admission will be free for everyone.
Java & Jazz will feature pianist Dan Tepfer, along with guitarist Ted Ludwig, bassist Brad Birge and the Harding University Jazz Band. There will be several vendors from across the Searcy community with different dessert and coffee options. Vendors include Midnight Oil Coffeehouse, Mr. Postman Expresso, Rise & Grind Coffee Co., Imago Dei, Nova Joe’s, Wild Sweet William’s Bakery, WildFlour Bakery, Sassy Sweets and Nikki’s Cookie Co.
Coffee and beverage sampler cards will be available for $5 at the event, and the dessert options will be available separately for purchase.
Senior Mak Oviedo-Rodriguez, an intern with Think Idea Studio in Searcy, has been helping promote the event through the Searcy.com website and social media platforms. She said she’s excited for this event to hopefully better connect Harding to the Searcy community.
“This event is a combination of Harding’s Arts and Life music concert series and Beats and Eats coming together and kind of bridging the two communities,” Oviedo-Rodriguez said. “Hopefully we can bridge that gap between Harding and Searcy, finding a way to get involved in both. These organizations working together is so good, and I look forward to hopefully more events where they work together in the future.”
Tepfer, who will be the featured performer at Java & Jazz, is an internationally recognized jazz pianist and composer. He has performed around the world, and has released 10 albums. Sophomore Jackson Price, who plays saxophone for the Harding University Jazz Band, said he is excited to perform with such a respected musician. The Jazz Band has not had a performance yet this semester, and Price said they are looking forward to their first concert.
“It’s going to be a great experience to get to play with a musician of his caliber — I get giddy thinking about it,” Price said. “It’s a different experience to get to perform as a college student with someone who is just a prodigy in his own sense. Most college students won’t have the opportunity to perform with someone who’s as talented as Dan is.”
Java & Jazz will be held next to Midnight Oil Coffeehouse. Annesly Pruitt, manager and barista at Midnight Oil, said that when the idea was proposed to her it seemed like a natural place to host the event, with the outdoor lawn space and Nita Cochran Stage available. Pruitt also said that Midnight Oil will be debuting a special drink that day that will be jazz-themed.
“Honestly, the whole idea of the event is amazing to me — having renowned musicians and wide selections of local coffee vendors seems like a great way to involve our community in what Searcy has to offer and the outside musical talent we can bring to our community,” Pruitt said. “It’s going to be classy, fun and unlike anything Searcy has ever had before.”