The Cape May Jazz Festival
“Legends and more Blues”
The 31st Cape May Jazz Festival April 17-19 2009 “Legends and more Blues” presented by NJ Division of Travel and Tourism and Bank of America opens a Tribute to Billy Eckstine and Sarah Vaughn with “Have a Song on Me Celebrating Mr. B” and the Big Band Music of the 40s and 50s with the B Swingers Big Band and Steve Butler. Billy Eckstine, known as Mr. B, became the most influential ballad singer during this era with an appealing baritone voice. It has been said that Steve Butler “looks and sounds hauntingly similar to Billy Eckstine…capable and convincing” and the Big Band one of the best. Sabrina Carten is convincing honoring Sarah Vaughn.
More Blues Saturday night with the Grammy Award winner James “Superharp” Cotton whose pedigree is a veritable who’s who in the world of Blues. Cotton and his Blues Band showcase his immense talent and keep him one of the most sought-after, hard-driving blues musicians touring the world today. More Blues continues all weekend at Cabanas with Andrew Jr. Boy Jones, Eddie Shaw and the Wolf Gang, Alan Weber and Frenz and Juke Joints Last Stand.
Legendary Odean Pope, known for his fiery, often intense solos, dazzling elevations and throbbing husky sounds, opens Aleatheas Restaurant at the Inn of Cape May for The Jazz Dinner and late Show. Barbara King continues the legends with a Tribute to Sarah Vaughn. She was introduced at an early age to jazz legends such as Sarah, Ella, Dinah and Billie who influence her singing.
Opening up Carneys Main Room Saturday night, Cuban percussionist Mayra Casales brings her band “Women on Fire” with Cuban Francois Zayas, drums. Her fiery, heartfelt spirit with strong roots in Cuban music is always present. DC Sharon Clark returns by popular demand for The Jazz Dinner and late Show in Aleatheas Saturday night. Sharon is an amazing, exceptionally gifted talent. Her performances include jazz standards plus lesser known songs performed by Ella, Sarah, Johnny Hartman and Nancy Wilson. Woody and Carol saw Roni Ben-Hur in NYC and knew he was a must for the festival. He is a very charming, talented guitarist and composer offering creative melodies, brilliant solos and dazzling original compositions.
Sylvia Cuenca opens Carneys Main Room Friday night with her organ quartet. Sylvia swings impeccably with her authentic feel for the Latin genre. Performing in the Boiler Room at Congress Hall Saturday night, the Michael Thomas Quintet is a powerful, energetic group that is deeply rooted in the rich tradition of hard-bop and blues with Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers their major influence. Along with the usual high energy jams Saturday and Sunday in Carneys, the complimentary workshops and CD Signing Party, Juke Joint Central will be in Cabanas Sunday afternoon. This is a fun, stimulating band with a juke joint jamming feel that is mainly blues — a not to be missed experience.
Cape May Jazz.com-Article