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story.lead_photo.caption Photo submitted Siloam Springs Center for the Arts presented its first Shakespeare in the Park in June.

The Siloam Springs Center for the Arts is presenting Jazz at the Springs on Nov. 16 to raise funds for upcoming programming.

The event will take place in the banquet room of 28 Springs and will include jazz and delta blues music by the Burson-Harris Jazz Quartet, along with a jazz-inspired dinner menu by Chef Kurt Plankenhorn and jazz era cocktails, according to a press release from the nonprofit. Doors will open at 6:30 p.m., with dinner, dancing and music at 7 p.m. A cocktail hour will follow from 9 to 10 p.m.

Tickets for the event are available at Seating will be limited.

The Burson-Harris Quartet is co-led by pianist Claudia Burson and guitarist Ben Harris, the release states. Both native Arkansans, Burson and Harris have built a sound that draws equally from the language of traditional jazz and the blues of the Arkansas-Mississippi delta. With a repertoire ranging from hard swinging toe-tappers to smooth and sultry ballads, this group takes listeners on a journey of melodies and grooves. Filling out the quartet will be Burson's long-time drummer Steve Wilkes, and bassist Kyth Trantham.

Siloam Springs Center for the Arts was established in August 2018 to add unique opportunities for community members to view and participate in the arts through gallery displays, theater productions, presentations and classes, the release states.

So far this year, the nonprofit has hosted 10 free events, ranging from Shakespeare in the Park in June to an outreach and children's activity table in partnership for the Northwest Arkansas Master Naturalists at the Homegrown Festival in October, according to board president Shawn Hunter.

The jazz fundraiser will help fund the organization's lineup for events planned for 2020, which will include at least two theater productions in the park as well as classes and musical events, she said.

Making art more accessible to the public in Siloam Springs is part of the organization's mission, Hunter said. Having art accessible positively impacts everything within a certain radius, she said.

"We just want something here where we can have community theater and some art classes and a place for people to show their things," Hunter said. "It's a huge boost to the economy and to the education level of a place that has art within walking distance, you know that it is proven ... just making art accessible in a town to everyone free or at low cost, or within walking distance, it boosts scores on tests in the schools, it boosts how many kids actually go to college, it boosts the senior citizen happiness level, it decreases homelessness, all kinds of things come out of just having art in a community."

SSCA received a grant from the Roy Chesney Fund for the Roy Chesney Art Appreciation Series, which includes the Shakespeare in the park last June, Jazz at the Springs and the Holiday Dinner Theatre on Dec. 28, Hunter said.

The dinner theater, "Christmas Ain't Over in Christmastown," directed by Dick Bolen will also take place at 28 Springs. It will be followed by the SSCA: A Year in review on Dec. 29 at the Siloam Springs Community Building, which will include entertainment, snacks and a chance to visit about the future of the arts in Siloam Springs.

SSCA is seeking three board members for those who are interested in supporting the arts, Hunter said. More information about the nonprofit, including membership forms, can be found at

General News on 11/13/2019

Print Headline: SSCA presents Burson-Harris Jazz Quartet

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