The 10th annual Woodstock Jazz Festival, featuring local and nationally known talent, will come to the Woodstock Square Friday and Saturday, Aug. 25 and 26.
“It’s going to be quite a treat,” said the president of Jazz on the Square, Bryan Kyrouac.
The fest will kick off at 7 p.m. Friday with the Latin flavor of Chinchano, featuring percussionist Juan Pastor’s jazz quintet performing at Stage Left Café. Chinchano fuses modern jazz with the deeply soulful folk rhythms of Peru, creating an electrifying, unique sound. The evening also will include the return of the Tim Fitzgerald Trio, with an opening act by local legends the Johnny Weber Trio.
Admission to the show is $20 for premium reserved seating in the first four rows, $10 general admission available at the door, first-come, first-seated.
On Saturday morning, the fest traditionally moves outdoors on the Square to entertain visitors to the Woodstock Farmers Market. Free performances will include the Rick Embach Trio at 9 a.m., the Potts & Pans Steel Band at 10 a.m. and the Outcast Jazz Band at 11:30 a.m.
The finale of the 2017 Woodstock Jazz Fest will begin at 7 p.m. at Stage Left Café when Swang City Vibe Town performs a free opening act to the featured performers, The Jamey Aebersold Quartet. Ticket cost is $20 to see Aebersold in the Opera House.
Indiana-based Aebersold is a National Endowment of the Arts Jazz Master, jazz educator and author. He runs jazz camps for adults and young people and is the publisher of a Play-A-Long series of instructional books and a CD containing a jazz rhythm section that musicians can play along with using the chord-scale system. He taught musical improvisation at the University of Louisville and is an adept pianist, alto saxophonist, bassist and banjoist.
Kyrouac said the addition of a nationally-known musician such as Aebersold will bring the Woodstock Jazz Festival to a new level.
“Aebersold is a big leap for us,” said Kyrouac. “He has become a friend of [Jazz on the Square] and we’re proud of that.”
Kyrouac said that last year the festival experimented with using the Opera House for a performance and is pleased to return to the Opera House stage again for this year’s feature performance.
Following Aebersold’s performance at the Opera House jazz fans can return to Stage Left for a shortened jam session.
“The word is that Jamey will weigh in on this performance,” said Kyrouac.
While part of the mission of Jazz on the Square is providing great live jazz performance, education is the other element of the 501(c)(3) organization. JOTS is thrilled to offer a free clinic for musicians and other curious parties with Jamey Aebersold at 4:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 26, at Stage Left Café. Reservations can be made at aebersoldclinic2017.brownpapertickets.com.
Seating is limited for all events at Stage Left Café.
“One thing that I hope doesn’t get lost,” said Kyrouac, “is that although we have a big name performer on Saturday, Friday night is going to be really good, too. I hope no one has to choose.”