Athens’ free outdoor concert series, “Sounds of Summer,” continues its 2020 season this Saturday, Aug. 8, with “Hot Nights, Cool Jazz.” Celebrating its 11th year, “Hot Nights, Cool Jazz” will feature Kelle Jolly and the Will Boyd Project headlining the event. The Sounds of Summer founder, Tim Hughes, will open the concert with his own group, the Tim Hughes Quartet.

There is no charge for admission and patrons are encouraged to bring their own lawn chair or blanket.

Accomplished vocalist and local favorite Kelle Jolly, along with her husband/saxophonist Will Boyd, will take to the stage with the Will Boyd Project as the headliner.

The duo has been featured on stages around the country and globe, including in productions at The Arts Center, the Cumberland County Playhouse and in various Knoxville area venues. Last year’s release of their CD, “Will Boyd: Freedom, Soul, Jazz” put the husband and wife duo on the national stage.

You can hear excerpts from the CD at: nMTHGBvYM9x 93IryrVTKygnTMKaB p730g

Multi-reed instrumentalist, composer, educator Will Boyd hails from soul sax tradition like artists Eddie Harris, David Newman and Houston Person. Originally from Orangeburg, S.C. by way of Queens, N.Y., Boyd currently resides in Knoxville.

He is a member of the Knoxville Jazz Orchestra and currently has two solo albums “Live at the Red Piano Lounge” and “Freedom Soul Jazz.” Boyd also co-leads a group with wife, jazz radio host, and founder of the Knoxville Women in Jazz Jam Festival, Kelle Jolly.

Interested parties can learn more about Boyd at

“Hot Nights, Cool Jazz” credits its inception to a 50th birthday celebration for Tim Hughes. To keep his jazz quartet viable, Hughes has used the services of various musicians from all over East Tennessee.

At his February 2010 birthday event, he brought all his musician friends to a local restaurant, Angela’s, for a jam session, inviting different ones to the stage to perform on various songs from the group’s repertoire.

The quartet’s bassist, Robert Grier, recommended a repeat performance, but not to wait for another birthday.

“A couple of months later, Robert and I were discussing the possibility of another jam session, but, by that time, Angela’s had closed at its old location and had yet to reopen,” Hughes recalled. “Robert suggested we have the jam session at The Arts Center and let it be a fundraiser. Thus, ‘Hot Nights, Cool Jazz’ was born.”

With Hughes organizing Sounds of Summer, moving the event to Market Park in 2013 for the inaugural “S.O.S.” season was natural transition.

The Tim Hughes Quartet is a varied group of accomplished musicians from East Tennessee focusing on popular jazz standards from different eras of the American-born genre.

Founded in 2008, the group typically involves a bassist, a drummer, a guitarist or keyboardist, and occasionally, a guest soloist, each bringing their own musical vocabulary to the improvisational setting.

Consequently, each performance is different; each performance is unique. The group includes Hughes on trumpet and flugelhorn, Robin Payne on keyboard, David Payne on drums and Robert Grier on bass.

Interested parties can learn more about the quartet at

Sounds of Summer 2019 is a free-to-the-public, sponsor-supported 10-week concert series.

The diamond sponsors for the 2019 season are the McMinn County Tourism Board and Willsonthropic. Willsonthropic is the non-profit organization under which the series operates.

The two biggest sponsors for the 2020 season include the McMinn County Tourism Board and Willsonthropic. Willsonthropic is the non-profit organization under which the series operates.

Other sponsors include Mayfield Dairy, Domino’s Pizza, Ascension Life Church, Jim Bob Contracting, Warren Jackson Certified Public Accountants, PLLC, Volunteer Energy Cooperative (VEC), Starr Reginald Medical Center, J-Pro Car Care and Towing, Companion Funeral & Cremation Services, Athens Kiwanis Club, Wolfenden Family Pharmacies, East Tennessee Auto Outlet, Bowater Credit Union, Companion Funeral, Tennessee Overhill Association, Anne Davis, Dr. Mintie Willson and the Tennessee Arts Commission.

The remaining schedule for Athens’ sponsor-supported, free-to-the-public concert series, Sounds of Summer, is as follows:

• Aug. 8 — Kelle Jolly and Will Boyd will headline the evening; The Tim Hughes Quartet will open for them

• Aug. 15 — Mendingwall will headline the evening; Roscoe and Bethany Morgan will open for them

• Aug. 22 — Drakeford will headline the evening; Hunter South will open for them

• Aug. 29 — Fresh Mind will headline the evening; Stephen Brannen will open for them.

Updated information about this year’s “Sounds of Summer” concert series can be found in The Daily Post-Athenian and on the series’ Facebook page, SOSAthensTN.Soundsof Summer.

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