June 26--GRAHAM -- T-shirt cannons are usually found at big stadium shows, but if you visit The Pizazz Band in downtown Graham on Thursday night, you may be lucky enough to get a free shirt as its fired into the crowd.
Keeping the crowd entertained and excited, along with some free giveaways, is something front man and co-owner Kent Zimmerman said definitely sets this band apart from all the others performing at area concert series and festivals.
When the band formed 19 years ago, Zimmerman flipped open the dictionary and looked for a word meaning "high-energy and excitement" -- that's how The Pizazz Band got its name.
With 500 songs on its set list, including hits by Pit Bull, Michael Jackson, Elvis Presley, Jason Aldean, Kenny Chesney and the country duo, Big & Rich, well, there's no telling what you may hear at a Pizazz show.
"We have a lot of dancing or what I'll refer to as 'antics,' " Zimmerman said. "We try to bring something different to the stage every time we perform. If you saw us last week, the show this week is guaranteed to be different. We pride ourselves on variety; we're constantly learning new material."
The Pizazz Band will perform from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday on West Elm Street in downtown Graham as part of the Thursdays At Seven Concert Series; admission is free and concertgoers of all ages are invited to attend. Be sure to bring blankets or lawn chairs, though, because seating won't be provided.
Besides Zimmerman, The Pizazz Band, which is based in Roxboro, includes Mark Davidson on guitar, Kenny Hancock on bass, Craig Motley on keyboards, trumpet and back-up vocals, Chip Johnson on drums and Robbie Franklin, co-owner and sound manager.
The band averages 92 dates a year, and includes shows in North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia. The Watermelon Festival in Murfreesboro on the first Saturday in August is an annual stop, Zimmerman said.
"We play for around 8,000 people at that festival," he said.
The band also does "meet-and-greets" with its fans and giveaways for adults and children, alike.
"We want people to have fun and to have a concert experience," Zimmerman said. "And if they want to dance along, that's OK, too."
Upcoming Thursdays At Seven concerts include The Band of Oz on July 25, The Holiday Band on Aug. 22 and The Hip Pocket Band on Sept. 26. For more details, call (336) 513-5510 or visit grahamrecreationandparks.com and click on "Thursdays At Seven."
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