At the 33rd Cape May Jazz Festival – April 16-18, 2010 – presented by Bank of America and New Jersey Department of State Division of Travel and Tourism, every ballad tells a story you’ll want to hear, and the blues takes you from from heartache to joy. Hard-bop to mellow sax, high-pitch to expressive-soul trumpet, Latin piano to kickin’ keyboard, Cape May Jazz offers it all.
Friday opens with Spyro Gyra’s mix of straight-ahead jazz, blues, Latin, Brazilian, instrumental pop, funk and fusion. For three decades they have dominated the contemporary jazz scene and bring a snap, originality and freshness that will appeal to fans old and new.
Blues singer Shemekia Copeland opens Saturday night with her huge, blast-furnace voice. The timeless power and heart-pounding urgency of her music comes from deep within her soul and from the streets where she grew up.
Friday night, tenor saxophonist Tim Warfield’s organ quintet will pay tribute to Shirley Scott. One of the most impressive young tenors around, Warfield uses the Hammond B-3 to relate the happiness and soulful experiences he had performing with Scott both through songs she introduced and original compositions Warfield wrote with her in mind. Continuing Friday night, guitarist Monnette Sudler will turn up the heat in Carney’s Main Room with the help of tenor Bootsie Barnes, trombonist Steve Turre and keys king Aaron Graves for a slamming, hard-bop groove. Vocalist Marta Topferova’s low-key misty voice changes the pace in Carney’s Other Room bringing her Prague heritage and New York immersion in the dynamic clusters of Latin American life. She is backed by stellar musicians who are equally as impressive with Latin sounds from Cuba, Argentinian tango, and Venezuelan rhythms.
Saturday afternoon pre-jams in both Carney’s rooms feature the up and coming youth bands Tom Zmuda and Thursday Night Jazz and the Divine Jazz Combo. Jam sessions will follow with over 24 musicians going back and forth in both rooms. In Cabanas, Georgie Bonds, world-class singer, songwriter and blues entertainer will continue the blues tradition with Delta Blues.
Saturday night displays the fireworks of Cuban piano player Chuchito Valdes for 3 sets at the Grand Hotel Ballroom. Chuchito’s volcanic power, passion and rhythmic intensity erupted at the April 2008 Festival. Following in the footsteps of his grandfather Bebo and father, Chucho Valdes, he blends elements of Afro-Cuban music, jazz, bebop, mambo and cha-cha-cha. Other Cape May favorites, vocalist Juanita Williams, with Fred Hughes on piano, will perform at the Jazz Dinner and 11 pm show at Aleathea’s Restaurant. Juanita came up musically by way of gospel, was inspired by Etta James and Aretha Franklin, and sings sweet soul music and gritty blues with originality, sass and flair. Hughes’ dynamic piano solos are the perfect complement.
Appearing in Carney’s Main Room, B.D. Lenz has been described as one of the hottest new contemporary jazz guitarists on the scene today. He fuses jazz and rock balanced by warm chords of funk, soul, rhythm and blues that will pull you to the dance floor.
Carney’s Other Room presents the Shook-Russo Quartet whose original compositions within the jazz idiom honor the master by carrying on the mainstream tradition pairing the huge sound of Amy Shook’s bass with drummer Frank Russo’s incredible percussive skill.
Jam session favorite, Jesse Andrus, tenor/alto sax and flute, brings his group Abstract Truth to the Boiler Room Saturday night. They weave jazz with soul, R & B, African and Latin rhythms, gospel, blues and funk, honoring the familiar masters who came before them while creating a fresh sound all their own. Performing at Cabana, the multi-talented Ray Schinnery will stir the soul with his vocals, move you to hilarity with his lyrics and woo you with his guitar.
Pre-Jam Sunday opens up with the Little Jazz Giants and the Youth Lions in both Carney’s rooms, followed my 2 Jam Sessions with over 30 musicians going back and forth, and the 5-piece Charles Walker Blues Band in Cabanas. Hailing from Wisconsin, the band performs various styles of blues, R&B and funk, and Walker’s expressive sax steals the show along with the powerfully deep soulful voice of Shanna Jackson.
The schedule, musician’s pictures, information and sound bytes are on the web at http://www.capemayjazz.org . For more information on specially priced All Event Weekend Pass, including reserved seating, or to be put on the mailing list, please call . The All Event Weekend Pass, which includes 18 events beginning 8 pm Friday through 4 pm 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 for the Theatre at Lower Regional High School are $25. per person. Complimentary Festival Transportation, running every 10 minutes, is available between venues all weekend.
The 33rd 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 TV 40, WCAF 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.