Saturday is National Kazoo Day, an observance founded 34 years ago to celebrate the instrument that anyone can play.
Did you know that the kazoo — along with the bango, sousaphone and a few others — is on a short list of instruments invented in America? How about the fact that it was invented in Macon? Former slave Alabama Vest invented the kazoo in the 1840s and had it built by clockmaker Thaddeus von Clegg, a German immigrant.
Although the kazoo was invented more than 170 years ago, it remains one of the easiest melodic instruments to play, because a player hums rather than blows into it. If you can carry a tune, you can play the kazoo.
There is a kazoo museum in South Carolina that houses one of the largest collections in the world. (Hmmm, don’t you think the kazoo museum should be in Macon?)
The instrument has a hugely devoted fan base. Those fans want to make the kazoo America’s official musical instrument and also want the fourth Thursday in January designated as National Kazoo Day. You’re invited to visit nationalkazooday.com for information about establishing an official kazoo holiday in the U.S.
On the local front, the Hummingbird Stage & Taproom is marking National Kazoo Day by hosting singer and songwriter Zale, whose music combines her classical training with blues and rock, and blues/rock group the Jacks River Band.
The Bird’s Facebook page says, “We will be giving away free kazoos to everyone who comes through the door. We are even going to have a contest to see who can play the best version of any song on the kazoo.”
And the winner gets a prize! Call 478-741-9130 for more information.
Dancing the Night Away
Downtown dances are starting again Friday night — Paula East is hosting one of her popular dance parties at the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame.
The evening will begin with a group session of easy-to-learn patterns and combinations. Afterward, there will be open dancing during which instructors will offer tips. DJ Chester Gibbs will spin a variety of music (ballroom, R&B, swing, shag and more), and instructor Dianne Kent will lead the group in the latest line dances.
East assures everyone that her dance parties are for anyone who wants to learn how to dance or enjoys an evening filled with dancing. She said, “It’s a lot of fun and you don’t have to bring a partner. All you need is two left feet and a good attitude!”
Call 478-752-1585 for more information.
Contact Melanie Byas at firstname.lastname@example.org.