Give entrepreneur Sandra Kimbrough credit for her support of all things Trenton-related. The young, dynamic marketing and public relations consultant, whose company, Kimbrough and Associates, is based in Ewing, has organized a unique jazz brunch series at Joe’s Mill Hill Saloon that is expected to continue into the winter months, when people could use some perking up through the positive power of good music. "I’m a longtime jazz and blues fan," says Kimbrough, who is on the board of directors of International Women in Jazz, "and the events I’ve done in this area have been successful in bringing together all kinds of different people for a great time."
The jazz series, titled Fish N’ Grits and Jazz N’ Juice, kicked off Saturday, November 5, with the Alfie Politt Trio from Philadelphia and continued Saturday, November 12, with Madame Pat Tandy with the Tommy Gryce Trio. On November 19, the fabulous trombonist, Clifford Adams, who has worked with Kool and the Gang and other touring groups, performs with his jazz quartet. Duane Eubanks performs on November 26.
Kimbrough has a special knack for bringing together different types of performance and visual artists for a common cause. The emcee for the new jazz series is Narubi Selah, winner of an HBO/ Def Jam poetry contest. The stage backdrop at the saloon will showcase the work of a local painter.
Kimbrough says that Joe’s Mill Hill Saloon "is so near the train station, that I’m hoping people will consider taking the train and then enjoying something else going on in Trenton the rest of the afternoon." The saloon is three blocks from the Trenton train station.
Kimbrough launched her marketing and PR firm in New York City in 1997. Her father works with the community center in Ewing Township and her mother was a teacher. She attended Princeton Day School and finished her college career at Thomas Edison State College.
Tickets are $13 ($20 for reserved seating), and proceeds raised will go to several local non-profit groups as well as Hurricane Katrina relief efforts. "It’s a different take on relief, because it’s two part," Kimbrough says. Proceeds from the November performances will benefit local non-profits, including the Reading Seniors Club, Move UR Feet, New Jersey Chapter, and Hightstown Rams Pop Warner Football. Proceeds from the December performances are earmarked for jazz and blues musicians in New Orleans affected or even displaced by the disaster.
"The spirit of New Orleans is all about the music, and I know a lot of the smaller neighborhood bars where many musicians earned part of their living are now gone," she says. "For the December shows, we’ll be looking to put out a call to New Orleans jazz musicians to come perform here as well."
Kimbrough says that Denny Clark, the owner of Joe’s Mill Hill Saloon, "has been tremendous. They were getting ready to start winding down with jazz, and I said, ‘Listen, I’ve done these things before, I do these things for a living.’ So we’re working with him to generate more visibility for the club." The Fish N’ Grits and Jazz N’ Juice ticket price includes a country-style breakfast of grits, sausage, and biscuit, with $4 Champagne and mimosas. Other breakfast foods and beverages will be available.
Kimbrough emphasizes that every detail – from the quality of the grits served during brunch to parking issues in the neighborhood of the club – have been taken care of. She is finalizing the bookings now for the series for December, and says, "I’m trying to match the non-profit organizations to the musicians for the occasion. I’m doing the underwriting initially, but we’re of course looking to attract some corporate sponsors for this series."
Tickets are selling swiftly and Kimbrough says it looks as if the rest of November’s shows will sell out. "I do want to keep it tight and down-homey and festive. I want as many people to enjoy this as possible, and I also want to accentuate what else is going on in Trenton, to push some more economic growth in the area."
Fish ‘n’ Grits & Jazz ‘n’ Juice, down-home breakfast and live jazz Series, Joe’s Mill Hill Saloon, Saturdays in November and December, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., 300 South Broad Street, Trenton. 609-394-7222. $13, $20 reserved seating. 609-394-7222. Saturday, November 19: Clifford Adams Jazz Quartet. November 26: Duane Eubanks.