Saturday, October 13, 2012

Jazz at New Jersey's southern tip continues

It is great to see that Cape May hasn’t given up on jazz – particularly having its own charming jazz festival.

Two years ago, the Cape May Jazz Festival ended its twice-a-year run (34 weekend festivals in 17 years) due to financial and organizational shortcomings. Some wondered whether the string of November and April festivals would ever be back as a way to extend the tourism season in quaint and charming Cape May.

The good news is that there will be a full-blown jazz festival next month.
The Exit 0 International Jazz Festival has scheduled performances by 21 bands Friday night through Sunday afternoon, November 9 to11.

The 100+ performers include pianist Ramsey Lewis, trumpeter Nicholas Payton, bassist Christian McBride, singers Claudia Acuña and Mark Murphy, pianist Orrin Evans’ Captain Black Big Band, guitarist Bobby Broom’s Deep Blue Organ Trio and Cuban-born percussionist Pedrito Martinez. The lineup includes three acts from New Orleans: the Joe Krown Trio, Stooges Brass Band and DJ Soul Sister. McBride, Lewis, Acuña and the Captain Black Big Band will perform at the city’s new Convention Hall. Most other acts are in clubs and hotels located along Beach Avenue.

Producer Michael Kline’s Spy Boy Productions is running the festival and plans to make this a twice-a-year phenomenon like its predecessor.

At the southern tip of the Jersey Shore, Cape May is an ideal location for a festival. It’s at Exit 0 on the Garden State Parkway and a short ferry ride from Delware. It means that its prime audience – the enthusiastic jazz fans living in northern New Jersey, Philadelphia, Baltimore and metropolitan D.C. – have two hours or less in travel time to get to Cape May.

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