An Enchanted Evening of Jazz will also feature the Rev. Dr. Dwight Andrews, founder of the Atlanta Jazz Chorus. The Cobb Library Foundation is the nonprofit arm of the Cobb County Public Library System. The event is one of several fundraisers it has hosted this year.
Freddy Cole, 78, said tonight will be his first performance at the Strand.
"I'm very familiar with Cobb, but it's my first time playing at that venue, the Strand," he said.
He said he plans to perform everything from "Broadway to the Blues."
A longtime Atlanta resident, Freddy Cole was inducted into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame in 2007. He was raised in Chicago, and was the youngest of four musical brothers. He began playing piano at age 6. Among his biggest musical influences, he said, are Duke Ellington, Sarah Vaughan, Billy Eckstine, Frank Sinatra and his famous brother.
Though they have similar sounds, being compared to Nat "King" Cole, who died in 1965, is something he has had to live with during his long musical career. However, Freddy Cole said it's like comparing apples to oranges.
Quoting an uncle, he said, "Every tub has its bottom. He sits on his and I sit on mine. I try to play music as a profession as good as I do, and that's all I can ask."
He recalled recording only once with his brother on an album in New York City. As the uncle of the well-known singer Natalie Cole, he said his family has been blessed with musical talent. Cole has recorded more than a dozen albums and will be performing in Indiana, Ohio and New York in December.
Freddy Cole and his jazz quartet will perform from 8:30 p.m. to 9:45 p.m. after Andrews, a jazz saxophonist, plays. Following the concert, there will be a VIP dessert reception upstairs where invited guests can meet both musicians.
Andrews is senior minister at First Congregational Church and an associate professor of music theory at Emory University. He was the first Quincy Jones visiting professor of African-American music at Harvard and artistic director of the 1998 National Black Arts Festival. Presently, he serves as scholar-artist in-residence at the High Museum of Atlanta.
Tickets for the show were still available as of late Thursday. General admission is $85 and $150 for VIP, which includes reserved seating and the dessert reception. Tickets may also be purchased online at cobbcat.org or by calling (770) 293-0080.
Donna Espy, executive director of the library foundation, said the money raised from the concert is very important because it helps provide items on the library system's "wish list."
In 2008, she said the foundation raised $40,000, which was used to purchase 10 laptop computers for a traveling computer lab and funded a part-time staffer to accompany the lab to all 17 library branches.
"We have also offered scholarships to library staffers pursuing their masters in library science degree," Espy said.
In 2007, she said the foundation gave $30,000 toward the expansion of the Georgia Room, a genealogical and historical resource room at the Central Library in Marietta.