The Chestertown Jazz Festival committee announced today that the 26th Chestertown Jazz Festival will be held September 8 -10, 2022, with the theme, “The Many Moods of New Orleans Music.”
The musical group Zydeco-a-Go-Go from Philadelphia, PA will kick off the three-day event at The Mainstay in Rock Hall on Thursday, September 8. This seasoned band is led by Pete Eshelman, who sings and plays accordion. Other featured band members include saxophonist Troy Corley, a native of Louisiana who has played with Gladys Knight and the Pips, Freda Payne, and Cab Calloway; veteran bass guitarist, Randy Lipincott, who worked for years with the late Johnny Clyde Copeland, and guitarist Jared Snyder; drummer Bob Holden; and the newest band member, percussionist Pamela Eshelman. The new Mainstay director, Matt Melnick, is delighted to showcase this talented group of musicians and tickets for this event can be purchased at www.mainstayrockhall.org or 410.639.9133.
An evening of entertainment and food will be offered Friday, September 9 under the tent at Wilmer Park, featuring Dave Robinson and The Conservatory Jazz Band. A recent transplant to the Chestertown area, Robinson made his debut at the Jazz Festival in 2018, directing the youth jazz group, ‘Capital Focus.’ The following spring, he brought his Conservatory Jazz Band to the Garfield Center for the Arts to perform in the ‘Blues Series.’ Robinson has also developed and hosts a local New Orleans Jazz Radio show, called ‘Gumbo,’ which airs Sunday evenings on WKHS. New Orleans cuisine will be served during the concert. Tickets for Friday night as well as Saturday’s ‘Jazz in the Park,’ can be obtained at www.garfieldcenter.org.
Following the practice of the Newport Jazz Festival and the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, Saturday will begin with a gospel opening by vocalist Quiana Lynell, who performs with our headliner group, Don Vappie and the Creole Serenaders. Then, in the style of another exciting New Orleans tradition, a brass band will lead in a ‘Second Line’ to get audience members out of their seats.
Coming back to keep the feet tapping will be Dave Robinson and his youth group, Capital Focus.
Next up will be Philip Dutton and The Alligators, one of the most significant practitioners of New Orleans music and culture in the Chestertown area. A New Orleans native, Dutton has been inspired by famous artists such as The Meters, Dr. John, Allen Toussaint, Buckwheat Zydeco, and the Neville Brothers, while the Alligators have been influenced by such greats as Louis “Satchmo” Armstrong and Clifton Chenier, the famous zydeco accordion player. Dutton has spread the sounds of New Orleans throughout Maryland’s Eastern Shore and beyond. About a decade ago, he started ‘The Chester-gras,’ which has become a local February tradition that runs simultaneously with the Mardi Gras festival in New Orleans.
Our world-renowned headliner group, Don Vappie and the Creole Serenaders, will close the show in style, taking the audience through a musical combination of traditional jazz, soul-funk, blues, rhythm and blues, zydeco, and Dixieland. No strangers to Chestertown, they performed here during the National Music Festival in 2018. Vappie, who sings and plays guitar and banjo, received the “Steve Martin Banjo Prize” in 2021. In addition to Vappie and singer Lynell, the very talented group includes trumpeter Kevin Louis; clarinetist and saxophonist Tom Fischer; bassist Richard Moten; piano and keyboard player Mike Esnault; and drummer Brian Richburg.
The festival will again offer a wide variety of food and drink from local vendors. Patrons can find ticket and pricing information, as well as up to date COVID and health protocols, at www.garfieldcenter.org or 410.810.2060.
LAISSEZ LES BON TEMPS ROULEZ!