Explorations in the ARTS presents Willie E. Atkinson (vocalist) and The Transitional Jazz Quintet will present an evening of soulful ballads and up tempo jazz classics. This Poetry of Jazz concert should prove to be just the ticket for sharing a musical evening with your valentine! An extraordinarily smooth Jazz vocalist, Atkinson makes each of his performances a unique and unforgettable experience for his audience with his fluid interpretation of Jazz and Blues standards. Whether exploring the syncopated rhythms of a swinging tune or telling the story of a lonesome, wanting heart, he offers a fresh approach and seizes every moment to make the songs his own. Renowned Jazz critic Peter Ingram, CVNC Online Arts Journal in North Carolina, begins his jazz review of a recent concert stated, “They (the audience) basked in the “jazz poetry” interpretations that vocalist Willie Atkinson gave to mostly swing era standards.” And ends with… “He certainly inspired the audience to standing ovations at this concert!” The Transitional Jazz Quintet is: Stephen Anderson, UNC Chapel Hill, piano; Phil Owens, New Bern, guitar; Doug Trammel, Myrtle Beach, bass; Michael Hanson, Rocky Point, percussion; and Jeff Bair, East Carolina University, saxophone. Guest jazz vocalist is Liz Pina of Wilmington, NC.