The 2nd Annual Martha’s Vineyard Jazz Festival starts things off with a New Orleans-style parade through Oak Bluffs and keeps going from there. After an extremely successful first year last year, festival founder and executive producer John Lee, a long time island vacationer, and jazz presenter has been working throughout the year to take this year’s festival to the next level.
“We approach producing the festival like a musician approaches producing a recording” said Lee.” Last year was our first recording, we stuck with what we knew best, which was well received, this year with our sophomore album. We want to continue with our mission of creating a permanent presence of America’s music on the island, but we will take few more chances in presenting jazz in its many different forms, music, literature, visual arts & film”.
In 2011 Lee called on some friends who he knew could present the music in their own unique way, and leave festival goers with an appetite for more this year in 2012, such as, six time Grammy nominated Nnenna Freelon, who also received the prestigious “Vinegaurd” award presented to a MVJF performer or artist who represents the true authenticity of jazz as an American art form. Antonio Hart, Ben Wolfe, and the great young vibraphonist, Warren Wolf, who Lee knows from Baltimore where he currently resides, rounded out the week last year. All Shows were sold out, some with standing room only.
This year MVJF is looking to add a few new elements to the week’s lineup including a “Cool Jazz Saturday“ show featuring the best in contemporary jazz to kick things off August 4th at the Tabernacle. Headlining this show is the 2011 Grammy award winning Terri Lyne Carrington (Best Jazz Vocal Album 2011) along with five other great performances throughout the afternoon by Guitarist Drew Davidsen, Sax man & Boston’s own Elan Trotman, Bass extraordinaire Gerald Veasley, the Urban Harmonica sounds of Frederic Yonnet and from the Berklee College of Music (a MVJF sponsor) Edmar Colon.
The rest of the week will feature a book reading and signing by Author and poet Quincy Troupe (“Miles” The Autobiography), an art exhibit titled “The Art of Jazz” curated and hosted by The Featherstone Center for the Arts featuring island visual artist with special guest artist Preston Sampson, a film presentation presented by The Roxbury International Film Festival, and as always they kick-off with the 2nd line Jazz-Festers parade up Circuit Ave with “Made in the Shade”.
Sunday through Saturday the festival presents its Jazz Club performances at venues in and around Oak Bluffs. Lee is a big fan of the jazz club atmosphere previously owning one himself in Baltimore called the “Wine Cellar” where he presented such musicians as Wes “Warm daddy“ Anderson, Marcus Printup, Antonio Hart, Jeremy Pelt, Wynton Marsalis and many more current greats. Lee said, “the jazz club atmosphere is the best environment to hear jazz, it gives you an opportunity to be up close and feel the music, and you can meet and talk with the musicians.
The first event of the Martha's Vineyard Jazz Festival takes place on Saturday, August 4th with an “MV Jazz-festers Parade” featuring Boston’s own “Made In The Shade,” a New Orleans 2nd line Dixie band. “Made In The Shade” will board the 12 pm ferry with other “MV Jazz-festers” arriving in OB at 12:45 pm. They will then parade through town, going up Circuit Ave, picking up people as they move along and finally parade through the Camp Grounds to the Tabernacle, where they will continue to perform and lead off the “Cool Jazz Saturday” show.
For more information about players and venues, visit the Martha’s Vineyard Jazz Festival Website