Next up in our series of festival previews is a mainstream jazz festival that’s held twice a year in Cape May, New Jersey, a town noted for its Victorian architecture and located nearly equidistantly from New York City, Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington, DC.
The Cape May Jazz Festival was founded by Carol Stone and Woody Woodland who built the festival almost like a jazz cruise or bar crawl, with mainstream jazz and blues performances taking place at a variety of clubs and restaurants within a three-block radius of the little town, with at least two major concerts at a nearby large venue. They also developed a set of educational outreach programs, with clinics and workshops for local youth.
The two have since parted ways with the festival, but the event lives on with a very similar format and programming, albeit a bit down-sized. Now sponsored by Bank of America, the Cape May Jazz Festival takes place over a weekend in both the spring and fall. The spring edition of the Cape May Jazz Festival takes place on April 8-10. The headliner for the large concert held at Star of the Sea auditorium on Friday night is guitarist Kevin Eubanks, who grew up in Philadelphia just a few hours away. On Saturday night, Poncho Sanchez takes the stage at the same venue. Among the artists performing at the downtown club venues are acclaimed young jazz singer Gregory Porter (a recent Grammy nominee), pianist John Beasley, vibraphonist Warren Wolf and bassist Kim Clarke.
For a complete and updated schedule, you can visit the festival’s website. Below is the schedule of events at press time.
FRIDAY, APRIL 08, 2011