Like all towns and cities that normally host jazz festivals, Cape May, New Jersey, has been suffering from swing withdrawal during the COVID-19 pandemic. Normally, the Exit Zero Jazz Festival would take place there in the spring; this year, no such luck (as of now, the fest’s been postponed to November, and its usual fall events have moved to April 2021). But a new, non-virtual jazz performance series is set to start this weekend in Cape May, and it’s called SunSet Jazz.
Each weekend in August, SunSet Jazz will take place on the grounds of the historic Emlen Physick Estate, completed in 1879. Its organizers, Exit Zero and Spy Boy Productions, say in a statement that the series was “curated in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and Black Lives Matter. SunSet Jazz explores the power of music to transcend differences and bring us all closer together—moving forward towards a more just society for everyone.”
Closer together, yes, but not too close. SunSet Jazz claims that it will be following all CDC guidelines, and accordingly, seating space on the lawn has been designated for occupancy by no more than two people within each 36-square-foot area. Picnic table seating is also available for a maximum of six people per table. Registered nurses will conduct temperature checks of all attendees; anyone with a temperature of 100.4 Fahrenheit or greater will receive an immediate refund. Social distancing and mask-wearing anywhere outside one’s designated seating area is required.
The current lineup for SunSet Jazz is below. All performances start at 7 p.m. ET.
Sunday, Aug. 2: Joanna Pascale with special guest Larry McKenna
Saturday, Aug. 8: The Orrin Evans Trio play the music of African-American woman composers
Sunday, Aug. 16: Keyon Harrold
Saturday, Aug. 22: I Got Life: The Music of Nina Simone featuring Carol Riddick and Gerald Veasley
Saturday. Aug. 29: Matt Cappy plays Miles Davis’ Kind of Blue
For more information, visit the SunSet Jazz section of Exit Zero’s website.