This year the Gulf Coast Ethnic & Heritage festival will be inducting two great Mobilians into our Jazz Hall of Fame.
Greg Cyprian moved to Mobile in January 1991 after managing stadiums, theaters, arenas, and convention centers in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and Richmond, Virginia. Upon this move, he was named Director of Operations at the Mobile Civic Center, and in 1993, he became Assistant General Manager at the same venue.
In 1998, Greg became Marketing and Promotions Director at April-Cumulus Broadcasting here in Mobile.
He has managed and created theater productions, concerts, and trade shows, including ‘Sista-to-Sista’ and ‘Funk Fest’. He has also presented the Alvin Ailey Dance Ensemble and productions of ‘Precious Lord Take My Hand’, ‘Shades of Harlem’, and ‘The Black Nativity’. Regarding concerts, he has presented Luther Vandross, Patti LaBelle, Aretha Franklin, The Eagles, and jazz productions throughout Mobile.
Greg has worked for the City of Mobile Special Events Department since 2004. He has produced an arts, entertainment, and community newspaper called ‘STEPPIN’ OUT’ since 2000. In 2007, he created a non-profit organization called Legacy 166 to present concerts, theater productions, school programs, dance events, and other cultural activities. The highlight of these events was partnering with The Lula Washington Dance Company from Los Angeles, California. Ms. Washington was the choreographer for the movie ‘Avatar’.
In 2013, Greg also served as interim manager for Saenger Theatre Mobile on behalf of the City of Mobile.
Though he continues to battle residual effects from his bout with COVID-19, Greg maintains his involvement in cultural and community activities. His efforts are now targeted toward his literacy programs for children and community work in Africatown, with emphasis on the Mobile County Training School.
Greg has been married for 39 years to his wife Denise, and they are parents to one daughter, Nichole.
Charles Hall, was a graduate of Jackson State University majoring in Music Education. He pursued additional studies at the University of South Alabama, Springhill College and Alabama State University. Charles was also a band director and later pursued employment in private industry. He is a founding member of the Mobile Symphonic Pops Band, serving as tuba section leader. He performed with the Dauphin Way Baptist Church Orchestra for several years and with Guy Lombardo Band. He was employed with Prichard Housing Authority and began his career with the Excelsior Band in 1967. After a hiatus, he returned to the band after death of the legendary E. B. Coleman. Charles passed away in May of this year.