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Erie Art Museum Blues & Jazz Fest, 2017
Fri., Sat. & Sun., Aug. 4, 5 & 6, Frontier Park

Erie Art Museum 25 Blues & Jazz FestivalErie Art Museum's 25th Annual Blues & Jazz Festival

Fri., Sat. & Sun., August 4, 5 & 6  at Frontier Park.  As always, this FREE festival brings a wealth of rregioinal and iinternational blues and jazz talent to Erie, presented in the outdoor setting of a centrally located park, a great sound system, plenty of eats and drinks offered by local vendors, and a festive atmosphere for the whole family.  Bring your blanket and lawn chair.

SCHEDULE:

A new feature: Fri., 3 p.m. - 8 p.m. & Sat., 11 a.m. - 2 p.m.  "Art Acts": Performances and interactive workshops with artists, performers, musicians and puppeteers beginning on Fri. at Frontier (LEAF) Elm Allee on 6th St. on Fri.  Go to http://erieartmuseum.org/events-blues-jazz-festival/  for more details about this program and the Festival.  

Eric Brewer & FriendsSATURDAY, Aug. 5   Main Stage, Frontier Park

2 p.m.   Eric Brewer &  Friends -- Guitar blues+funk+jazz+rock+jam band.  One of Erie's perennial favorite bands, "Always distinctive, always developing."

Joining the leader's seasoned guitar and vocal skills are crew members Charlie Meyer on keyboards and vocals; Steve Barone on drums and vocals; Ralph Reitinger III on bass;and Joe Cislak on saxophone and vocals.   

Rodger Montgomery4 p.m.   Rodger Montgomery Blues Band -- straight ahead blues from a veteran, who appeared at the very first Erie Art Museum Blues & Jazz Festival 25 years ago.  Montgomery provides lead vocals and guitar for this outstanding regional blues band, accompanied by William "Whop" Frazier, Jr. on vocals and bass, and Sam Orrico on vocals and drums.

The band was winner of the 2012 and 2014 Rock Erie Music Awards in the Blues category.

 

Eddie Turner & Trouble6 p.m.   Eddie Turner & Trouble -- voodoo blues, R&B, and African rhythms.

The Erie Art Museum's festival brochure proclaims: "Guitarist and songwriter Eddie Turner defies labels, but has been called out for his peculiar brand of voodoo blues, blending blues with rock, R&B, and Afro-Cuban rhythms.  Born in Cuba and raised in the Cuban ex-patriot community in Chicago, Turner started playing the guitar at the age of twelve and crafted his skill in a stew of cultural influences."  Further expeirience included punk, R&B and hardrock bands in Colorado, and a breakthrough tour with bluesman Otis Taylor's band, which Turner helped shape.

After his experience with Taylor, Turner won Blues Music Award's 2006 for "Best New Artist", and was leader on an album that won an Independent Music Award.  His band at the EAM Festival will include renowned blues bass guitarist Kenny Passarelli, David Brenowitz on drums and Anna Lisa Hughes on vocals and bass..

"Eddie Turner may not be a household name but he is an underground guitar legend who has produced good music for nearly 50 years.  His career stretches back to the early '70's and playing with such groups as Mother Earth, Zephyr and the Otis Taylor band.  His solo career has seen him fuse the blues with rock & roll, with some funk chops thrown in for good measure."     David Bowling

Latest recording: "Naked...In Your Face."  "Eddie Turner confirmed with this release all the good things that I have seen in his home city of Chicago...highly recommended."  Philip Verhaeze, Keys & Chords.

Mokoombe8 p.m.   Mokoomba -- high energy Afro-pop from Zumbabwe. 

Mokoomba hails from the Victoria Falls region of Zimbabwe, popular for its natural beauty, including Victoria Falls. The region is home to the Tonga people who are one of the country's minority groups. Most speak Tonga, which is not understood by the majority of the Ndebele and Shona speaking population. Their music is an electrifying mix of Afro-fusion energy and traditional Tonga beats.

Victoria Falls is in an area of Zimbabwe which borders Botswana, Namibia and Zambia and is close to Angola.  The region's intercultural atmosphere feeds the music of this group, which includes Mathais Muzaza -- lead vocals; Trustworth Samende -- lead guitar; Abundance Mutori -- bass guitar; Donald Moyo -- keyboards; Miti Mugande -- percussion; and Ndaba Boyo -- drums.

Their repertoire includes originals and songs derived from traditional tunes.

Steve TrohoskeSUNDAY, Aug. 6   Main Stage, Frontier Park

Noon    Steve Trohoske's Art Groupies -- Contemporary jazz that bops & swings.

Steve Trohoske has long been a mainstay bassist, bandleader, jazz historian and composer in the Erie area, bringing together a variety of individuals and ensembles. As the Art Museum's program reports, The Art Groupies began in 2014, with Steve recruiting a lineup of award-sinning performers who exemplify jazz fusion, linking an eclectic range of rhythms and influences from tango, electronic dance, jazz improvisation, and world music elements"

The group includes leader Trohoske on bass, Frank Singer on guitar, Eric Brewer on guitar, Toly Grey playing six-string bass, Elly Vahey, vocals and Ken "Stix" Thompson, drums. 

The Breeze Band2 p.m.   The Breeze Band with Youthful Talents -- Young Erie musicians join with this classic R&B, soul and blues band.

The band consists of Anoia Hobson, vocals and keyboard; Pam Davis, vocals; Maurice Troop, vocals and bass; Kenny Hollis, lead guitar; Clarence Jennings, drums; Kevin Sapper, trumpet; Rasia Crockett, vocals; Tim Cook, vocals; and Barry King, vocals and guitar.

For this special Anniversary Performance, the Breeze Band will also showcase the youthful talents of Elijah Lyons, guitar and vocals; DeAzhane Matthews, vocals; Mark Hudson III, keyboards; Annalise Vaughn, vocals; Nevaeha Hudson, vocals; Nick Cacamo, vocals; Vince Cacamo, bass guitar; Sky Davis Muzofa, dancer; Ja'donovan Hobson, drums; and Courtney Cook, vocals. 

 

Mary Alice Brown4 p.m.   Mary Alice Brown Quartet -- Erie's Queen of Jazz, who was the featured artist at EAM's first Blues & Jazz Fest 25 years ago!

After studying at the Erie Conservatory of Music, Mary Alice Brown honed her keyboard and vocal talents by extensive performances in the tri-state area  before moving to California, touring the coast, working in Japan for a year and then settling in Hawaii for a decade before returning to Erie in 1992.

Upon her return, she established a community music school at the John F. Kennedy Center, which she had helped initiate years before.  She also mentored students at the JFK Center and Mercyhurst University.  (Source: EAM Festival program mailing.)

Joining her in her performance at the EAM Blues & Jazz Fest will be Joe Matczak -- drums and percussion, Becky Matczak -- bass and vocals, and Tammy Johnson -- congas.

Russell Malone6 p.m.   Russell Malone Quartet -- Legendary swinging jazz guitarist, with elements of blues.

Malone was born in Albany, GA; began playing guitar at age 4.  His guitar heros included Charlie Christian, Wes Montgomery and George Benson. 

He came to national attention in the 1980's and '90's, playing with Jimmy Smith, Harry Connick, Jr., Benny Green and Diana Krall.  Touring with his own quartet, he also worked frequently with bassist Ron Carter and pianist Mulgrew Miller -- and played extensively and recorded with many, many others.

The quartet he brings to Erie will include pianist Rick Germanson, bassist Luke Sellick and drummer Willie Jones III.

8 p.m.    Trio 3: Oliver Lake, Reggie Workman & Andrew Cyrille -- Veteran avant garde jazzmen with storied histories on the NYC scene and worldwideOliver Lake.

This trio plays adventurous music which may still be ahead of its time, but we're gradually catching up.   Each trio member is legendary, has appeared countless recordings across the spectrum of jazz greats.  A chance to take in seasoned creative genius.

Per the EAM Program, the group describes their sound as "futuristic music within the ideomatic continuum of jazz."  The Program notes that collectively, the trio reprresents 130 years of outstanding jazz, having performed with an honor roll of innovative musicians that includes John Coltrane, Mary Lou Williams, Herbie Mann, Art Blakey, Lou Reed and dozens of others.

They pride themselves on their ability to mix rhythms and work together as one solid unit of sound.  Jazz writer Gary Giddins says: "The Trio 3 experience involves the assimilation of every kind of jazz, from pre-bop mainstream to the furthest reaches o9f the avant garde, to sundry precincts on the world music front.,achieving genuine tripartate equality."

 

June 28, 2017