Thriving Lowcountry jazz scene keeps local musicians from leaving
By Jack McCray
Wednesday, September 21,  2011

I’ll tell you a little secret about the live jazz community around here.

We live in constant fear of losing our treasured musicians to some far-flung place. We know how good they are and the rest of the world is slowly, but surely, realizing this.

We’re not as frightened, though, as we used to be. As our scene continues to build, the more Charleston becomes as good a base as anywhere else to pursue a fulfilling, materially rewarding career in performing jazz music.

Just as good as, say, Chicago, San Francisco, New York, Washington, D.C., Denver, Minneapolis — any of them.

They all have thriving (or, since the recession, surviving) local jazz scenes, and the quality of life available there affords a resident an opportunity at a lifestyle that promotes curiosity, camaraderie and creativity.

The cities cited also were tops on a recent tour undertaken by the Rene Marie Quartet, a recording and touring ensemble that is popular around here. Its performing prowess has made it a Spoleto Festival USA favored artist, having turned in multiple concerts at the internationally acclaimed festival held annually in Charleston…

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