At the Shelby County Arts Council, Sunday is the new Saturday.


By Lindsay Dyess
Photos Contributed

September is “A Month of Sundays” at the Shelby County Arts Council.

Three unique performances this month, featuring everything from accomplished jazz musicians to gospel blues, will keep crowds entertained.

This month packed with talent will unfold in Columbiana’s Black Box Theater.

Among those taking the stage is The Grande Junction.

Musicians Choko Aiken and Avi Friedlander work together to push the boundaries of jazz, classical and pop music on the piano and cello.

As pianist, Aiken is no stranger to the music world or the Shelby County Arts Council.

Aiken has played at many gallery openings and has performed at the SCAC 10th Anniversary Celebration.

She left the crowd stunned with her rendition of “Amazing Grace.”

Aiken was born and raised in Japan and began studying music when she was just 3 years old.

She went on to study violin, voice and music theory in colleges in Tokyo and Fukuoka, and later studied jazz in New York and Los Angeles.

Aiken is versed in multiple styles and genres of music.

Since relocating to Birmingham in 2013, Aiken continues to share her love of music by performing at local venues and music festivals.

Friedlander, a cellist, blends his love of classical music and rock and roll in his arrangements. Although he currently performs with Birmingham Sunday Jazz Night and String Theory Birmingham, he has spent time touring in the U.S., Italy and Japan.

He has even performed in Carnegie Hall and for a PBS special at St. Peter’s Church in New York City.

Friedlander received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in music performance from the University of Michigan and his professional studies degree from the Cleveland Institute of Music. He enjoys spending his time teaching and performing around the U.S.

The Grande Junction takes the stage Sunday, Sept. 17. Doors open at 5:30 p.m., and the show will start at 6 p.m.

A complimentary beverage reception will quench guests’ thirst before the performance.

Also joining the SCAC for “A Month of Sundays” are Marc Phillips and Groove Daddy on Sunday, Sept. 10 at 6 p.m. Tickets are $15.

Singer-songwriters Danny and Debi Brooks with the 2Blu Trio will perform Sunday, Sept. 24 at 6 p.m. Tickets are $15.

Those wishing to see all three shows may purchase a “A Month of Sundays” ticket package for $35.

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit Shelbycountyartscouncil.com or call (205) 669-0044.