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Gwen Hughes and The Retro Jazz Kats to perform
by Bobby Tedder
btedder@neighbornewspapers.com
May 29, 2013 09:32 AM | 1193 views | 0 0 comments | 17 17 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Vocalist Gwen Hughes will perform with bandmates, The Retro Jazz Kats at Sunday's performance of the Concerts by the Springs series at Heritage Green.
Vocalist Gwen Hughes will perform with bandmates, The Retro Jazz Kats at Sunday's performance of the Concerts by the Springs series at Heritage Green.
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Gwen Hughes and The Retro Jazz Kats are set to serve up a musical gumbo of sorts Sunday at Heritage Green Park.

The group is the latest act to grace the stage there as part of Heritage Sandy Springs’ Concerts by the Springs series.

“I’m very excited … [Sandy Springs] is always very warm and receptive,” said Hughes.

Don’t let the name fool you. The Jazz Kats — three horns, a rhythm section and Hughes on vocals — will be belting out an eclectic mix of tunes for concert-goers to vibe and dance to.

Swing and big band are but two of the musical stylings on showcase.

“When people ask for big band and swing music, this is the most economical way to give them that sound,” said Hughes. “But, we also do much more than that.”

Those in attendance at Sunday’s show will get a taste of what their counterparts throughout Europe have been getting from Hughes and company.

“Just like there, people really want to hear classic jazz and then they want Stevie Wonder, Top 40 radio and Motown,” Hughes said. “We can do all that and we might do Cee Lo [Green], the Rolling Stones … and we take audience requests all the time.”

For Hughes, a longtime Sandy Springs resident, this will mark her first show in town in several years. It will be her first taking the stage at the park’s terraced entertainment lawn.

“Before, we were [performing] under this dark roof,” she said. “Now, there’s this big stage that’s elevated and with all this light. … I can’t wait.”

Gates for the event are set to open at 5 p.m., with the main act scheduled to hit the stage at 7 p.m.

“The best part about waiting for the music to begin is getting to know your neighbors out on the lawn,” said Heritage Sandy Springs Executive Director Carol Thompson. “We have people tell us they run into friends they haven’t seen in years.

“This spot has been a crossroads and a gathering place. … We want to continue being the place that residents and visitors gather in the heart of Sandy Springs.”

Organizers note the rising popularity of the concert series, which runs through early September.

The next show, featuring A-Town A-List, is scheduled for July 14.

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