It’s not the biggest event in the City of Arts and Innovation, but Music Carolina SummerFest has been chugging along for over a decade, the little festival that could. It consistently provides innovative, artistic musical presentations spanning a variety of styles, including classical, jazz and bluegrass, as the Journal’s Lynn Felder reported Sunday. The festival’s 11th season begins today with what promises to be a sterling performance and continues with nine more performances through Aug. 19, featuring 21 local musicians and 18 local dancers. A festival like this is a sure way to counter the depressing effects of the dog days of summer — and a week of rain.

SummerFest programs are spread around various Winston-Salem locations, including mainstays like auditoriums at Salem College and Wake Forest University. This year’s venues, for the first time, will include Bookmarks, the Bookmarks breezeway and Tate’s Craft Cocktails (an appropriate venue for jazz). We think nonprofits SummerFest and Bookmarks will be a good fit. One of the special things about an organization like Music Carolina is its collaborative nature, partnering with others in the community for mutual benefit. Such hospitable partnerships are a Winston-Salem custom.

Today’s performance, “Appalachian Songbook,” features music by Winston-Salem composer, pianist and teacher Kenneth Frazelle. Soprano and voice teacher Jodi Burns will join him to sing.

Other performances include “Take Five: A Tribute to Dave Brubeck,” a concert by Zinc Kings: Piedmont Old Time String Band and “A Romantic Salon: Music from Bohemian Paris,” by Piedmont Opera.

SummerFest has in recent years been joined by a WinterFest as well as other performances throughout the year. Music Carolina is a nonprofit organization whose mission, according to its website “remains constant: to present outstanding and affordable chamber music performances of all musical styles — including classical, jazz, tango and Americana — in a variety of intimate and accessible venues.” It’s part of the cultural environment that makes our city special and more enjoyable for everyone.

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