Once a year, the New Bedford waterfront is awash in sounds having nothing to do with its legendary fishing scene. On June 10, jazz will sweep over a tent-covered pier in the 6th Annual New Bedford JazzFest, featuring national and local musicians and singers from 2pm to 7pm.
Headlining the event is the New York-based three-piece Gerry Gibbs and Thrasher People. Drummer Gibbs has multiple albums that have reached #1 on the jazz charts, including his latest release, Weather or Not, which spent three weeks on top this spring and is holding near the top 5. Many of Gibb’s albums have been born from the local passion of Neal Weiss, owner and operator of hometown record label Whaling City Sound, which is getting national attention for its prolific portfolio of #1 and top 10 albums recently.
JazzFest isn’t complete with out the powerful touch that vocals bring to the music mix. Boston native and powerhouse jazz/soul vocalist, Cassandre McKinley, will perform with the Dino Govoni Quartet. McKinley is equally adept at jazz and blues styles and is backed by a talented sax led quartet.
The influence of the French Quarter will be prominent, and this year, NOLA comes to NB in the form Matthew Hartnett and the Gumbo All-Stars with its New Orleans-style trombone-led jazz, a brand of music out of the ordinary, and very much welcomed, this far north. The group will set up in the lounge stage area, next to the bar, giving it a club-like atmosphere.
The JazzFest features two stages of diverse music, local food trucks and full bar, and a special section for local artisans and crafters to showcase their wares.
The festival kicks off around 2:15 with the 17-piece local favorite, the SouthCoast Jazz Orchestra, back for the sixth year with its classic big-band sound, a powerhouse group of regional musicians led by Symphony Music Shop owner, Bob Williamson. The band plays semi-regularly at Gilda’s Stone Rooster in Marion.
Beyond music, there will be a selection of food trucks, and an “Artists’ Colony” curated by the New Bedford Art Museum, where patrons can browse and buy the work of local artisans. Post-festival, JazzFest partner Greasy Lucky Brewery will host a funky jazz jam session with a house band and special guests. There’s a cover for the event, but if you bring your JazzFest ticket, admission is included.
Tickets are $20 in advance at NewBedfordJazzFest.com, through the Your Theatre box office at 508-993-0772, or in person at Bridgewater Credit Union (Fairhaven branch), Greasy Luck Brewery, and Symphony Music Shop on State Road in North Dartmouth. After June 5, tickets are $25. Children 15 and under are free when accompanied by an adult, and there’s parking at the Elm Street Garage. The event runs rain or shine.
JazzFest is produced by and for the benefit of Your Theatre, Inc. New Bedford’s 70-year old community theater group. YTI has partnered with Waterfront Historic League (WHALE) to purchase restore and convert 149 William St. (First Baptist Church) into a theatre for YTI. Proceeds from this event will assist in this partnership to preserve vital historic architecture and provide a lasting home for NB’s longest running community theatre. www.yourtheatre.org
See you there!
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