1st Fridays on the Lawn closes season with R&B band

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The 1st Fridays on the Lawn finale concert will be on Friday 6- 9 p.m. on the Wilson County Library lawn.

“We’ve enjoyed the season of music and diversity,” said Renee Smith, director of Human Relations, “We want everyone in the community to come help us wrap up the series and support our community partners.”

Should history repeat itself, the Jus Once band will bring the largest crowd to Wilson. Returning for an encore performance, Jus Once filled the Boykin Center to capacity last year with people overflowing into the lobby dancing and listening to the band from afar.

“They have a strong following in this area,” said Smith. “When we move indoors due to rain, we rarely need to use the balcony. But with this band, a huge crowd came. We expect another large crowd this year. People won’t want to miss this one.”

The Jus Once Band has become one of the hottest and most demanded in the area. Jus Once has performed with national artists such as Chrisette Michele, Mint Condition, Con Funk Shun, Dougie Fresh, Next, 112, Dej Loaf, Arrested Development, Zapp, Sunshine Anderson, Carl Thomas and Atlantic Starr.

Jus Once’s chemistry is powered with vocal talent, a horn section, and intense pocket beats.

The band’s diverse style moves from R&B, soul, funk, jazz, pop and hip-hop with an oriented go-go foundation. Go-go music is a blend of funk, rhythm and blues driven by heavy percussion such as drums, congas, timbales and cowbells.

The band covers artist such as Frankie Beverly and Maze, Al Green, Mary J. Blige, Jay-Z, Adele, Green Day, Chaka Khan, Hall & Oates and Bobby Womack.

The band lineup includes vocalist Santonio Parker, vocalist Colesha Hagens, Sheldon Rogers on vocals and percussion, Shon Davis on vocals and keyboard, Darrel Thompson on keyboard and percussion, Kevin Davis on bass guitar, lead guitarist Jamal Whitehurst, Ron “Kitty” White on vocals and trumpet, Jashaun Peele on saxophone, Torrey Reid on drums and vocals, and Cedric Ce-Lo Williams on congas.

During the band’s intermission, around 7 p.m., the audience will be entertained by a returning group, the Wilsonettes Dynamic Divas. They participated in the September concert, but due to moving inside were not able to perform several dance routines and are coming back to share their talent.

The Wilson Youth Council will host free children’s activities including a large inflatable obstacle course for older children and a bounce house for younger children.

The concert series is sponsored by the City of Wilson’s Human Relations Office. Keeping with their motto to “engage, educate and celebrate,” the Human Relations Office will host several community educational booths during the concert.

Community groups will sponsor door prizes for audience members. Concert attendees should make sure to register at the Human Relations Commission tent. You must be present to win.

The booths will include Wilson YMCA, Legal Aid of North Carolina, Y.O.U.T.H. of Wilson, Mental Health Association of Wilson County, NEED-Nash-Edgecombe Economic Development, North Carolina Wesleyan College, Girl Scouts – NC Coastal Pines, Wilson Energy and the Wilson TOBS.

Jackson Street, beside the library lawn, will be filled with several different food vendors with a wide variety of choices. Food vendors for this concert will include Jerry’s on Wheels, which brings funnel cakes, candy apples and fried desserts; Everett’s Concessions with hamburgers, chicken, french fries, nachos, barbecue and blooming onions; B’s Good Eats with hot dogs and snacks; Pizza Inn with personal sized pizzas and the Mount Hebron Masonic Lodge No. 42 with a fish fry.

1st Fridays on the Lawn is a family friendly event. Admission is free. All concerts are alcohol free. Picnics are welcome, but no glass containers or cookouts on site. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Pets are preferred to be left at home, but if brought must obey the leash law.

Participants are encouraged to bring their lawn chairs and picnic blankets.