Music & Events

August 6 & 7, 2016

Erie Art Museum 2016 Blues & Jazz Festival posterAugust 6 & 7, 2016

Frontier Park, Erie, PA
Free. Rain or Shine.

The 24th Annual Erie Art Museum
Blues & Jazz Festival

It’s always one giant party when 20,000 of your closest friends and family come together to hear the best blues and jazz showcase in the region! We won’t disappoint when it comes to the amazing lineup of regional favorites and national stars on tap.

Erie Art Museum Blues & Jazz Fest -- stage viewSaturday, August 6, 2016

Noon . . . . . YMCA Teen Center Collaborative
2:00 pm . . . Jeff Fetterman Blues Band
4:00 pm . . . Diablo Dimes and his Dixie Deacons
                    (hokum and blues)
6:00 pm . . . Jontavious Willis (traditional blues)
8:00 pm . . . Bernard Allison Group



Sunday, August 7, 2016

Erie Art Museum Blues & Jazz Fest 2014Noon . . . . . Bruce Johnstone Quartet (mainstream jazz)
2:00 pm . . . House of Rhythm (traditional hot jazz)
4:00 pm . . . Tony Grey (contemporary jazz)
6:00 pm . . . Paul McCandless with Charged Particles
                    (straight ahead electric jazz)
8:00 pm . . . Red Baraat (bhangra/funk/jazz)

Support the 24th Annual Erie Art Museum Blues & Jazz Festival.  You can make a contribution through IndieGoGo.  Go to and click on Blues & Jazz Festival for more information.

More About the Artists.


Noon to 1:30 p.m.   YMCA Teen Center Collaborative:  More information to follow.


Jeff Fetterman Blues Band2:00 p.m.  Jeff Fetterman Blues Band.

A local blues/rock quartet from Erie, PA, the  group features Jeff Fetterman on guitar and vocals, Ralph Reitinger III on electric bass, John McGuire on drums and Judy Kessler -- percussion and vocals..

The group has recently released its second CD, "Bottle Full Of Blues," and tunes from the album will be featured in their concert at the Festival

duablo dimes4:00 p.m.  Diablo Dimes and his Dixie Deacons (hocum & blues)

Dimes brings blues, ragtime, boogie-woogie, Dixieland, Calypso, hocum...a full array of styles from the early twentieth century. 

He has played venues and festivals coast to coast.  He is described as having  "a serious primitive and nostalgic approach."  He has released seven albums, with a variety of musicians.  The Dixie Deacons have been featured in the Miami area.

Jontavious Williw6:00 p.m.  Johntavious Willis, a 19 year old traditional blues singer and guitarist from Greenville, GA  brings it to the stage.  No frills, just the real thing.

Bernard Allison Group on the road8:00 pm – Bernard Allison Group

(Note: Eric Gales, who was originally scheduled to perform, has had to cancel his July and August engagements.)

Bernard Allison is a true son of the blues. The youngest of nine children, he grew up in the deep blues shadow cast by his father, the late, great Luther Allison. “I didn’t start to play ‘til I was maybe 10 years of age,” Bernard recalls, “I picked up the guitar and listened to his records.”

Those records included Luther’s influences—T-Bone Walker, Lightnin’ Hopkins, Magic Sam, Otis Rush, and B.B. King. These, along with the next generation of blues artists, such as Jimi Hendrix, Johnny Winter, and Stevie Ray Vaughn, became Bernard’s blues academy. He began performing with his father at age 13 and immediately after high school joined Koko Taylor’s Blues Machine. Bernard eventually followed his father to Europe, where he performed with Luther’s band as well as his own, and in 1990 released the first of his 16 recordings as leader. Since his father’s untimely death in 1997, Bernard has carried the Allison brand of music into the 21st century.

“The blues is my roots,” he says. “Regardless of how far outside of the blues I reach for tones, I can’t ever leave the blues. Whenever I play, all those guitar parts are Luther Allison coming through me. My dad was the same way; he wasn’t all blues. He loved Otis Redding and Chuck Berry. I’m just showing where my influences come from, and respecting the people who got me to this point.”


Bruce Johnstone Quartet at Erie Art Museum in 2014Noon -- Bruce Johnstone Quartet (mainstream jazz)

Johnstone, a native of New Zealand, established a national presence in jazz in that country before emigrating to Europe, where he played with well known European and American musicians, developed contacts, and then came to the U.S., where he flourished.  Johnstone was as featured soloist on baritone saxophone with the Maynard Ferguson Big Band, played with many notable musicians in the New York City area, then went on the road with the Woody Herman Orchestra.

Johnstone ultimately settled in Fredonia, New York as head of the SUNY Fredonia Jazz Department, where he has spent the last 20 years.  He continues an active performing schedule, both with university instrumental ensembles and with regional groups, and is much appreciated by fans in Erie, where he has frequently performed.  He brings his own quartet to this gig.

Hot Rhythm band at the UCC, with the Furman brothers.2:00 p.m.  House of Rhythm (traditional hot jazz) with the Furhman Brothers.

The band will include Jackson Froman (piano), Sonny Froman (drums/percussion) and others.

A graduate of Edinboro University of PA (BA in piano performance), Jackson has served for six years as the church musician for the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Erie (UUCE).  In addition to performing professionally in the local area, he teaches chorus at Union City MS/HS, and harmonica at Allegheny College.

Sonny Froman (drums/percussion) is the founder of Creative Projects Music Shop,  Sonny has studied drumming with Al Bardi (Vic Damone drummer, Las Vegas), Bobby Rosengarten (The Dick Cavett Show drummer and Musical Director), and Bill Lavorgna (Music Director for Liza Minnelli).  He also studied percussion at the University of Hawaii and for 10 years was Principal drummer for the Grammy nominated Honolulu Symphony Pops.  Sonny was with the Don Ho Show for 20 years, and he also was conductor and drummer for the Rich Little Show in Hawaii.  He has worked with Elvis Costello, the Smothers Brothers, Jim Nabors, Faith Hill, Joanne Worley, Yvonne Elliman, Rock Legends In Concert, The Marvelettes, and The Fifth Dimension.

Tony Grey4:00 p.m.  Tony Grey (contemporary jazz).

World famous 6-string bass guitar great Tony Grey brings an electronic blend of loops, effects and rhythms to his performance.  From Newcastle, England, via Berklee in Boston and performances with such jazz greats as Wayne Shorter, Mike Stern, Dennis Chambers, John McLaughlin and many, many others, world tours with pianist Hiromi, and more recently, many performances in the region since settling in the Northwest PA Area, Grey brings contemporary sophistication and an unerring ear for the unique and melodic in the music he creates.  Expect something new and different!

Paul McCandless & Charged Particles6:00 p.m.  Paul McCandless with Charged Particles (straight ahead electric jazz).

After a successful guest appearance with the Charged Particles trio last year, renowned soprano saxophonist Paul McCandless, the band decided to do it some more, and booked a tour for this year.  The group blends jazz and Latin, funk, classical and other genres.

Personnel are Paul McCandless -- soprano saxophone, Murray Low -- keyboards, Aaron Germain -- upright and electric bass, and Jon Krosnik -- drums.

Repertoire includes many originals and original arrangements of tunes by other jazz and pop artists.

Red Baraat in concert800 p.m.  Red Baraat (bhangra/funk/jazz)

Erie Art Museum Director John Vanco announced this spotlight act for the 2016 Festival by noting that "We've never had such an active, enthusiastic response to a headline act at a Blues & Jazz Festival like the response this group received when they appeared onstage a few years ago.  People were up dancing and shouting their approval.  So when we heard the group was available this year, we booked them as quickly as we could."

Brooklyn-based Party Band Red Baraat was conceived by dhal player Sunny Jain.  It combines North Indian Bhangia with elements of go-go, rock and jazz.  Composed of rhythm, horns, guitar and sousaphone -- the group is described as "sweaty and hard-working," generating lots of energy, joy and unity.

The band has appeared on Austin City Limits, at the Monterey Jazz Festival, in many clubs, theaters and festivals around the country, and at the Olympics.



June 21, 2016