Discover Jersey Arts People’s Choice Award for The Favorite Music Festival went to the Cape May Jazz Festival January 8, 2009. Festival’s organizers wish to thank all the friends and supporters who voted for the festival.
The 31st Cape May Jazz Festival “Legends….and more Blues” April 17-19, 2009 presented by NJ Division of Travel and Tourism and Bank of America promises to be one of the best. A Tribute to Billy Eckstine and Sarah Vaughan with “Have a Song on Me Celebrating Mr. B” and the Big Band Music of the 40s and 50s with the B Swingers Big Band and Steve Butler. Billy Eckstine, known as Mr. B, became the most influential ballad singer during this era with an appealing baritone voice. It has been said Steve Butler “looks and sounds hauntingly similar to Billy Eckstine…capable and convincing” and the Big Band one of the best.
More Blues Saturday night with Grammy Award winner James “Superharp” Cotton whose pedigree is a veritable who’s who in the world of Blues. Cotton and his Blues Band continue to showcase his immense talent and keep him one of the most sought-after, hard-driving blues musicians touring the world today. More Blues continues all weekend at Cabanas with Andrew Jr. Boy Jones, Eddie Shaw and the Wolf Gang, Alan Weber and Frenz and Juke Joint Central.
Legendary Odean Pope, known for his fiery, often intense solos, dazzling elevations and throbbing, husky sounds, opens Aleathea’s Restaurant at the Inn of Cape May for an 8:30pm Jazz Dinner and late Show with open seating available. Barbara King will continue the legends with a Tribute to Sarah Vaughan. “Barbara King’s dusky, Sarah Vaughan-like qualities mark her as a talent to watch” says Lloyd Sachs, Chicago Sun-Times.
Opening up Carney’s Main Room Saturday night, Cuban percussionist Mayra Casales brings her band “Women on Fire” with Cuban Francois Zayas on drums. Born in Cuba and raised in Miami, her earlier influences began with the Afro-Cuban musical culture of her surroundings.
DC Sharon Clark returns by popular demand for the Jazz Dinner and late show in Aleathea’s Saturday night. Sharon is an amazing, exceptionally gifted talent with performances including jazz standards but also lesser known songs performed by Ella, Sarah, Johnny Hartman and Nancy Wilson.
Performing in Carney’s Other Room is guitarist Roni Ben-Hur, a very charming, talented guitarist and composer offering creative melodies, brilliant solos and dazzling original compositions. As a leader he has won high praise from jazz critics around the world.
Sylvia Cuenca opens Carney’s Main Room Friday night with her organ quartet. Sylvia swings impeccably with her authentic feel for the Latin genre. Performing in the Boiler Room at Congress Hall Saturday night, the Michael Thomas Quintet is a powerful and energetic group that is deeply rooted in the rich tradition of hard-bop and blues with Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers their major influence.
Along with the usual high energy jams Saturday and Sunday in Carney’s, the complimentary workshops and Saturday CD Signing Party, Juke Joint Central will be in Cabanas Sunday afternoon. This is a fun, stimulating band with a juke joint jamming feel that is mainly blues -- a not to be missed experience.
The schedule, musician’s information and sounds bytes are found on the web at www.capemayjazz.org. For more information or to be put on the mailing list please call 609-884-7277. An All Event Weekend Pass to attend 18 events beginning 8pm Friday through 4pm Sunday is $150 general admission. Individual Friday or Saturday Night All Event Wristbands are $55. Saturday Afternoon Jam Wristbands are $35, Sunday Jams $25. Reserved Seating is available at the Theatre at Lower Regional High School for an additional $25 per person . Complimentary Festival Transportation running every 10 minutes is available between venues all weekend.
The 31st Cape May Jazz Festival is presented by New Jersey Department of State, Division of Travel and Tourism VisitNJ.Com and Bank of America and sponsored by the Delaware River and Bay Authority, Barefoot Wines, Jazz Times, WRTI Temple Public Radio, WBGO Jazz 88, WMGM TV40, WCFA 101.5, WTTH the Touch, Cape May Star and Wave, Verizon Wireless with generous support from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts, the New Jersey Cultural Trust, local businesses and donors.