San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas

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The San Marcos Parks & Recreation department will feature the first “Jazz’n Up The Park” event on Saturday, July 12 at Eddie Durham Park, 215 Martin Luther King Drive.

Jazz’n Up the Park — and the park itself — honor the late, legendary Eddie Durham, a San Marcos native who gained fame as one of the most important composer-arrangers in the Swing Era of jazz music. Eddie Durham Park is located on the lot where the Durham home once stood.

The event, scheduled for 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., features live jazz music by the band Trio Verde and musician Morris Nelms. Music will provide a backdrop for activities including a live mural painting, local foods, and an array of art activities for the kids.

During the event, local artist Bobby Thorpe will paint a jazz-themed mural in honor of the great Eddie Durham. The mural will be located on the side of the City Finance Company Building adjacent to the park. Children from the San Marcos Housing Authority will be on hand to assist Thorpe with the mural.

Hays County Pct. 1 Constable David Peterson, owner of Moose’s BBQ, has volunteered his cooking skills to fry up tasty food, including fish and hushpuppies along with beans and coleslaw. Cost is $7 per plate. Tickets for the lunch plates are available onsite.

Born in San Marcos in 1906, Durham composed, arranged, and performed with some of the biggest names in jazz including Bennie Moten, Count Basie and Glenn Miller. His list of compositions include “Topsy” (co-written with Edgar Battle), “Swingin’ the Blues”, “I Don’t Want to Set the World on Fire” and “One O’Clock Jump.”  His arrangements include Glenn Miller’s Bluebird recording of “In The Mood.” Durham died in 1987.

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