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Roswell family keeps Atlanta Jazz Party swinging
by Joan Durbin
March 27, 2013 11:35 AM | 2735 views | 2 2 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Despite an early fondness for bands such as The Beatles, Grateful Dead and Rolling Stones, perhaps it was inevitable that Philip Carroll would someday come to adore an entirely different musical genre.

The Roswell resident’s parents, Phil and Lee Carroll, founded the Atlanta Jazz Party in 1990. “Growing up, music had always been a part of our household. Dad was always constantly playing jazz,” Phillip Carroll said.

“You know how a mother who wants you to eat broccoli, is always fixing broccoli? With dad, it was jazz.”

As he matured, Carroll acquired a taste for the music that was so dear to his parents and the annual Atlanta Jazz Party became a welcome fixture in his life.

“The recipe was simple,” he said. “One stage, a cabaret ballroom with dance floors and 24 internationally recognized all-star performers.”

Such past jazz greats as Doc Cheatham, Milt Hinton, Bob Haggart, Kenny Davern and more than 175 jazz All Stars have graced the AJP stage, Carroll said.

In 2008, Phil Carroll died, and his son said one of his last wishes was that the 20th Atlanta Jazz Party, scheduled a few months later, would still go on without him.

“If you can imagine the scene, dad literally beckons me to his bedside. I’m convinced he’s about to tell me something like ‘take care of your mother, you’re the man of the house now.’ Nope. Rather, it was ‘son, you have to keep the party going,’” Carroll said.

“All kidding aside, Mom was at the top of his concerns, but this is a true story.” On April 19, 20 and 21, the 24 Atlanta Jazz Party will offer a weekend of jazz bands and combos playing in the traditions of Chicago, New York, West Coast and New Orleans. The event will be at the Westin Atlanta North in Sandy Springs.

Among the many top drawer musicians will be returning Atlanta Jazz Party veteran, reed man Ken Peplowski and bassists Nicki Parrott and Atlantan Neil Starkey, heard at last year’s Big Band Session with trumpeter Joe Gransden, also on stage again this year.

Weekend admission ranges from $325 and $250 for VIPs, which includes a special Saturday Jazz Brunch. Individual tickets are $60 for Friday night; $55 for Saturday afternoon; $60 for Saturday night; and $55 for Sunday afternoon. Carroll, who has been in Roswell since 1976, works for AT&T Mobility. He now lives with wife Pualani in the Pine Valley neighborhood. Recently they founded a nonprofit, The Atlanta Jazz Preservation Society, to help with the Jazz Party funding and to globally promote, produce and preserve the quintessentially American art form of jazz.

“We have worked hard to keep the Party alive and with support we will continue for another 20 years until we throw in the towel and hand it over dad’s grandkids Philip ‘Trey’ Carroll III, Jesse, Jamie, Parrish, Alexandria and Huelani,” Carroll said.

For information, call (770) 645-6844 or visit

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