[image-1]The South Carolina Arts Commission recently announced the 2017 winners of the Elizabeth O’Neill Verner Governor’s Awards for the Arts, the state’s highest award in the arts. Local jazz percussionist, arranger, composer, and producer Quentin Baxter is one of the eight recipients.

Baxter, who has been nominated for two Grammys, is well-known around the area for bringing Charleston’s vibrant jazz traditions around the world. He’s performed at big deal venues like the Kennedy Center and the Garth Newel Music Center as well as famous festivals like Spoleto Festival USA and the Atlanta Jazz Festival. In addition to these accolades, Baxter was the first person to occupy the drum chair for the Charleston Jazz Orchestra, is a founding member of Jazz Artists of Charleston, and works as a faculty member for the College of Charleston.

Awards will be presented May 2 in Columbia, and the S.C. Arts Foundation will honor recipients at a luncheon earlier that day. The 2017 luncheon will include an art sale and takes place at the USC Alumni Center, Columbia tickets will be $50 and can be purchased online.

You can check out Baxter before then, though, at his March 8 performance with the Annie Sellick Quartet at Kiawah Island’s Turtle Club.

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