Cape May Jazz Pays Tribute To Maynard Ferguson Nov 7-9

Article Contributed by press | Published on Monday, October 20, 2008

November 7-9, 2008, will mark the Cape May Jazz Festival's 15th year and 30th celebration presented by Bank of America. Friday night's opener kicks off with a Tribute to Maynard Ferguson featuring a 16-piece big band led by Ed Vezinho and Jim Ward.  This performance will be held in the theatre at Lower Regional High School. Jon Faddis, internationally acclaimed high-register trumpeter, will solo with the band saluting Ferguson's music. Ferguson, jazz legend and internationally famous big band leader, was one of the world's great trumpet and brass instrument players dazzling the world with his high trumpet blasts.  Ferguson, the kid, set the jazz world on its ear with his innovation and the level of musicianship of his "Birdland Dream Band" back in the 50s.

Pieces of a Dream returns by popular demand performing on Saturday night, also in the theater.  To fill out the schedule, well-known jazz vocalist Jackie Ryan will perform in the Grand Hotel Ballroom Friday, and smooth jazz saxtress Pamela Williams will lend her talents on Saturday night.  Ex-Ferguson musician Denis DiBlasio will bring his band to Carney's on Saturday night, featuring Jim McFalls on the trombone. Also included on this bill are Michael Pedicin, Frank Bey, Edgardo Cintron, Antoinette Montague, David Cole, Bob Ferguson, the Little Jazz Giants and many more plus the always-popular high energy jam sessions and complimentary workshops.

The schedule in its entirety can be found on the web at, the best source for all the latest on the Cape May Jazz Festival, including music bytes from your favorite artists.  For more information or to be put on the mailing list please call 609-884-7277.

For those who wish to discover all venues and performers, the new Preferred All-Event Weekend Pass gives guests an opportunity to attend 20 jazz performances, including RESERVED SEATING at any 2 concerts at the Theatre at Lower for a special $170 (saving $30 off regular ticket pricing).  The general seating All-Event Weekend Pass is also available for $150.  Individual Friday or Saturday Night All-Event Wristbands are available for $55 each.  Saturday Afternoon Jam Wristbands are available for $35 each, and Sunday Afternoon Jam Wristbands are $25 each.  Tickets go on sale September 15th by calling 1.877.CM.JAZZ.  Information including schedules, pictures, biographies, music clips and ticket order form can be found on or by calling 609.884.7277.   Complementary Festival Transportation is available between venues Friday thru Sunday.

The 30th Cape May Jazz Festival is presented by Bank of America and sponsored by Delaware River and Bay Authority, Barefoot Wines, Yamaha Concert Division, Jazz Times, WRTI Temple University Public Radio, WBGO Jazz 88 FM, WCFA 101.5 LP, WTTH the Touch, Cape May Star & Wave, Cape May Gazette, and Verizon Wireless, with generous support from New Jersey State Council on the Arts, and supported in part by the New Jersey Department of State, Economic Growth & Tourism Commission.

Maynard Ferguson - This three time Grammy nominee, consistent Downbeat and Playboy Jazz Poll award winner, was a potent force in the world of music education, making time to personally encourage young musicians. An instrument designer, a record producer, composer, arranger, symphonic guest artist, and film soundtrack artist, Maynard Ferguson was a diverse and energetic musician whose talents far surpass trumpet player.

As might be expected, Maynard's innate musical talents were exhibited at an early age. He has been performing since he first soloed as a child prodigy with the Canadian Broadcasting Co. orchestra in 1939 when Maynard was 11 years old. Born in Montreal, Quebec in May 1928, he was encouraged by his mother, a violinist and school principal, and by age four was playing piano and violin. By nine, he had enrolled in the French Conservatory of Music where he received his formal training.

Maynard Ferguson had his own jazz and dance band at 16. All the players were twice his age except his brother, Percy. By 1948, Maynard had made his debut in the U.S. in Boyd Raeburn's band and the first of three major career periods had begun. In the 50's, he played with Charlie Barnett and Jimmy Dorsey dazzling the jazz world with his high trumpet blasts in the Stan Kenton band. After Kenton, for the next three, he was first-call studio trumpeter and recorded film soundtracks for Paramount including The Ten Commandments. Guesting with symphony conductor Leonard Bernstein in 1955, Maynard Ferguson performed the "Titans" by William Russo, with the New York Philharmonic.

"I'm a person of change and I must be honest to my artistry and my creativity. That's part of the word 'jazz''s an adventure."  Maynard Ferguson

WHAT:  30th Cape May Jazz Festival

WHEN:  November 7-9, 2008

WHERE: Theatre at Lower Regional High School, Grand Hotel, Carney's, Cabanas, Congress Hall Boiler Room

WHO:   Tribute to Maynard Ferguson:  Jon Faddis soloing with 16 piece orchestra directed by Ed Vezinho/Jim Ward; Pieces of a Dream, Jackie Ryan, Pamela Williams, Michael Pedicin, Chembo Corniel and Grupo Chaworo; Denis DiBlasio with Jim McFalls; Antoinette Montague with Bill Easley; Frank Bey; Edgardo Cintron; David Cole and Main Street Blues; Bob Ferguson.